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Van de Wege victory is final

Thursday, November 09, 2006
Peninsula News Network

Sequim firefighter Kevin Van de Wege’s victory over incumbent State Representative Jim Buck is official, with a final count of ballots Thursday solidifying his win in Tuesday’s General election.

Van de Wege prevails in the rematch with the Joyce Republican, as he built on the edge he held in the 2004 campaign in Jefferson County, reversed Buck’s historic support in Grays Harbor County and came close to beating the incumbent here in Clallam County.

The latest count of ballots Tuesday shows Buck holding the edge in Clallam County, but five or six points behind the numbers he’s usually enjoyed on his home turf, with less than 51% of the vote. Buck increased his lead over his Democratic challenger Wednesday, but not anywhere close to the level he would have needed to cut into Van de Wege’s overall lead.

Meanwhile, the late votes actually allowed Van de Wege to improve his lead in Jefferson County with nearly 94-hundred votes for over 61%… about 4% better than two years ago.

But the most dramatic change was in Grays Harbor County. There aren’t a lot of votes there, roughly 9000 that effect the 24th District. But in the past where Buck never had to worry about winning by comfortable margins, this year it was Van de Wege that enjoyed the victory with 52% of the ballots.

That means district-wide, Van de Wege wins the race with over 24,000 votes. Buck’s 20,000 is still respectable, but with only 8200 ballots remaining to be counted in Clallam, Buck’s strongest county, it would now be mathematically impossible for him to win.

That ends Buck’s 12-years in the house and will send Van de Wege to Olympia along with Lynn Kessler in January, Kessler having run unopposed to the seat she first won by defeating by Buck the first time either of them ran for office in 1992.



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