State Rep. Steve Tharinger will serve a fifth consecutive term as state for Washington’s 24th Legislative district. After the first round of vote counting on Tuesday he tallied 57.03 percent of the vote, outpolling Republican challenger Jim McEntire.
Tharinger’s margin in the initial vote count was 7,305 votes, with 29,646 going to the Democrat incumbent, and 22,341 going to McEntire.
As with the other 24th District race, the Republican challenger had more votes in Grays Harbor County than the Democrat incumbent, as McEntire won 51.99 percent of the vote in this county. Tharinger won in Clallam and Jefferson counties, with 52.09 and 69.37 percent of the votes, respectively.
A Democrat from Port Townsend, Tharinger has previously served 12 years as a Clallam County Commissioner, and previously told The Daily World that his role as chairman of the House Capital Budget committee puts him in a beneficial position to secure funds for local projects like the planned North Shore Levee that would remove thousands of houses from the FEMA flood plain and eliminate their flood insurance.
McEntire, a retired former Coast Guard captain and Clallam County Commissioner, sent out a press release of his concession on Tuesday night, saying he called Tharinger to congratulate him on re-election.
“I am proud of the note of civility that Steve and I struck throughout the campaign, keeping our focus on issues and not personalities,” wrote McEntire.
In a phone interview, Tharinger said “it’s good to have the voters reassure and reinforce the work we’re doing,” but said he noticed that Grays Harbor County did not have as many supporters.
“Obviously, we weren’t as strong in Grays Harbor County, and we need to work on that,” he said.