Elections results show front-runners in La Center council and school board races

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The preliminary results for the August 2021 primary election are in, but the two candidates who will move on to the November ballot remain up in the air for some races.

Following the 8 p.m. Aug 3 deadline, Clark County Elections released results on a handful of races for local government and school board seats. By far the most competitive races were in La Center, as 13 candidates filed for three city council seats.

The frontrunners for the top-two primary contest are evident for two out of three La Center City Council races, though the most competitive race has a difference of three votes for second place as of the first count. 

For position 1 on the council, Justin Keeler led with 178 votes, while Myrna Leija took 150 and Melissa Fox had 147. Ron Ostrander had 76 votes while Craig Whited received 38.

For council position 2, challenger KC Kasberg led the pack with 236 votes, though incumbent Dennis Hill held second place with 209 votes as of first count. David Nelson took 79 votes and Kimberlee Elbon had 56.

Councilor Randy Williams had the most success as of Aug. 3’s count among the La Center incumbents, as he led in first place with 220 votes to retain his position 3 seat. Janice Fowler had 190 votes, Sean Boyle had 158 votes, and Palmer Davis took 22 votes as of the first count.

Yacolt’s largely moot primary for town council’s position 3 spot shows the now-incumbent, Joshua Beck, in the lead with 97 votes, while challenger Ronald Homola — who was appointed to council’s position 4 seat in July — came in second with 42 votes. Rhonda Rowe-Tice came in third with 17 votes.

Homola’s appointed position is not up for election until 2023. Beck, who also was appointed last month, is likely to hold his seat this year.

The two competitive local school board races show clear front-runners.

Battle Ground Public School’s District 1 has incumbent Mary Snitily in the lead with 3,854 votes as of the first count, or more than 44 percent. Challenger Chloe Seppala came in second with 2,555 votes, or more than 29 percent, while Devin Scroggins was in third with 1,755 votes or about 20 percent, and John Siemssen Sr. had 491 votes, or about 6 percent.

The district 1 seat for the Hockinson School District saw challenger Teresa VanNatta with 915 votes, more than 55 percent of the total as of the first count. Incumbent Tim Hawkins took 402 votes, or about 24 percent, while challenger Bill Eling took 341 votes, more than 20 percent of the first count.

Although a ballot measure to pass a one-year excess levy to fund North Country EMS has strong support behind it, it will need to hit a threshold of votes by certification based on last year’s voter turnout to pass. As of the Aug. 3 count, the levy had 139 votes approving the measure in Yacolt, or about 87 percent, and 1,856 votes, or about 78 percent in approval, for the unincorporated parts of Clark County the district serves.

In order to pass, however, the measure will need to have 2,085 “yes” votes in the unincorporated area and 187 in Yacolt by the time all ballots are counted.

As of the first results, 49,115 ballots had been counted, with Clark County Elections estimating about 20,000 left to count. 

In 2019, the municipal primary had a final voter turnout of 24.6 percent in the county by certification. Currently, voter turnout is at 16.45 percent for 2021.

The next ballot count will take place at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 4.  The election will be certified on Aug. 17.

The primary election featured all races with three or more candidates on the ballot. The top two finishers will move on to the November general election. 

A full list of Clark County results can be found here:  https://results.vote.wa.gov/results/20210803/clark/ 

Find results by county from throughout the state here: https://results.vote.wa.gov/results/20210803/turnout.html

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