Van De Wege, Benedict, Rosand leading incumbents
November 7th, 2006 - 9:50pm
(Port Angeles) -- Election night results show Peninsula legislative challenger Kevin Van De Wege defeating incumbent 24th District Republican Representative Jim Buck. District wide numbers have Van De Wege leading Buck 54-point-5 to 45-point-5 percent with a 32-hundred vote lead in Clallam, Grays Harbor and Jefferson Counties.
Clallam County Sheriff Joe Martin is losing his re-election bid against challenger Bill Benedict. The sheriff's sergeant, Benedict has nearly a two-to-one margin in votes -- close to 66 percent of the tallies in the sheriff's race.
Incumbent Auditor Cathy McKeown is also losing her bid for re-election. Elections Supervisor Patty Rosand is leading McKeown 55-point-4 percent to 44-point-5 percent.
The incumbent Clallam PUD Number 1 commissioner from District 3 Ted Simpson is leading challenger Cindy Kelly by just 238 votes.
The 13-point-8 million dollar bond issue for a proposed Port Angeles aquatic center is failing overwhelming with almost 68 percent no votes against only 32 percent yes votes.
A proposed resolution to authorize the Sequim School District to redistrict its school director districts from five districts to three with two at-large positions is passing with almost 69 percent yes votes.
House Majority Leader Lynn Kessler has won re-election unopposed for 24th District Representative Position 2.
In the race for Sixth District Congressman, Democrat Norm Dicks has defeated Republican Doug Cloud.
Incumbent Democrat Senator Maria Cantwell defeated Republican Challenger Mike McGavick.
The Quillayute Valley Parks and Recreation District's one year levy for operation and maintenance of the pool and other district facilities is failing, but by just 18 votes.
15 people will be elected to the Clallam County Charter Review Commission -- the top five candidates in each of the 3 commission districts.
In District 1, the top five candidates are Dave Cummins, Jim Pickett, Sue Forde, Ken Wiersema and Sue Erzen.
In District 2, the top five candidates are Norma Turner, John Miller, Patti Morris, Terry Roth and Mickie Vail.
In District 3, the top five candidates are Patti Adler, Rod Fleck, Randy Simmons, Tom Shindler and Kris Grier.
Several County elected department heads have won re-election unopposed, including County Assessor Pam Rushton, District 3 County Commissioner Mike Doherty, Prosecutor Deb Kelly and County Treasurer Judith Scott.
John Miller has won the election as Director of the County's Department of Community Development unopposed.
Clallam County District Court Judges Rick Porter and Erik Rohrer have been re-elected without opposition.
About 16-thousand-600 ballots were counted in Clallam County Tuesday night. About 93-hundred more ballots will be tallied later this week.
Van De Wege holding lead over Buck for legislative seat
by BRIAN GAWLEY
Peninsula Daily News
Democratic challenger Kevin Van De Wege of Sequim was holding almost a 10 percent lead over incumbent Rep. Jim Buck, R-Joyce, in the race for the 24th District seat in the state House of Representatives.
The district-wide results from three counties showed Van De Wege with 19,726 votes, or 54.5 percent, to Buck's 16,462 votes, or 45.5 percent.
The 24th District covers Jefferson and Clallam counties and part of Grays Harbor County.
In Clallam County, Buck was leading with 8,222 votes, or 52.4 percent, to Van De Wege's 8,085 votes, or 49.6 percent.
But the slim margin wasn't enough to overcome Van De Wege's strong showing in the other two counties.
In Jefferson County, Van De Wege received 8,066 votes, or 61.4 percent, versus Buck's 5,050, or 38.5 percent.
In Grays Harbor County, Van De Wege received 3,575 votes, or 52.8 percent, versus Buck's 3,190 votes, or 47.2 percent.
``I think it's been looking good. This is the fruition of a long road and a lot of hard work,'' Van De Wege said at a campaign gathering Tuesday night.
``I want to thank family for letting me do this.
``A lot of people put in a lot of long hours and did a lot of work. They organized grass-roots efforts, especially in Clallam County.
``Jefferson County also was tremendous in their `get out the vote' effort,'' he said.
Buck said Tuesday night that he wasn't ready to call the race over yet.
``I need to see what's in Grays Harbor and Jefferson County, and there's still 9,000 votes out in Clallam so we'll see. It's about like it was last time,'' Buck said.
Buck trails Van de Wege by 3200 votes
Wednesday, November 08
Peninsula News Network
Port Angeles, WA - 24th District Legislative candidates Jim Buck and Kevin Van de Wege will be burning up the calculator batteries over the next week, as they try and predict the outcome of another close race for State Representative.
As they did two years ago, Buck and Van de Wege came out of election night with no clear-cut indication as to who will win the House seat.
In Clallam County, Buck was on top after the initial count, but by less than 200 votes for barely more than half the ballots. Two years ago the Joyce Republican had 55% after election night.
In Jefferson County, Van de Wege was stronger than 2-years ago with 61% of the votes after Election Night, for a 3000 vote lead. In 2004, the Sequim Democrat had 57% of the Jefferson vote.
But Buck’s real serious erosion, and a factor that could ultimately decide the race, is the Grays Harbor end of the district, where Buck trails by just under 400 votes with just 45% of the ballots. In 2004, Buck had 55% of the vote from the Harbor. However, there could be fewer than 2000 votes left for the race in that corner of the district.
District-wide, that leaves Buck trailing Van de Wege by over 3200 votes with just 45%t of the overall vote throughout the 24th. Two years ago at the same point he was leading by 1300 votes.
However, there are several points to consider. First, in Jefferson County with its’ traditionally Democratic vote, the majority of the votes have already been counted. The Jefferson County Auditor’s office tells PNN there were a little more than 2700 votes in hand that will be counted Thursday, but more than 63% of the ballots had already been tabulated and included in the Election Night results. Secondly, there are still thousands of votes to be counted in Clallam County where Buck has traditionally been the strongest. Only between one-fourth and one-third of the ballots were included in the Tuesday count.
The next batch of Clallam votes will also be counted Thursday.
One final factor is that two years ago, just 23,000 votes had been counted on Election Night, compared to 36,000 this year, due to the heavy turnout from the Presidential and gubernatorial elections that year. So there are many more votes already tabulated than at the same time in the last race.
In 2004, Van de Wege never led Buck, although he closed the margin to less than 1000 votes a couple of days after the election.