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Columbia County voters mark record turnout

Trump a county favorite; Voters choose new commissioner, Boost Dozier to Senate seat


November 5, 2020

-Chronicle photo

Columbia County Auditor Anne Higgins finalizes the vote count after 8 p.m. November 3, under the observant eyes of Jay Ball and Dwight Richter.

DAYTON–As the country anxiously awaits the outcome of the presidential contest, Columbia County voters turned out at a phenomenal rate, choosing a new county commissioner and weighing in on local, state and federal races.

Auditor Anne Higgins noted that the vote count was Columbia County's all-time high. Including ballots collected at 8 p.m. on Election Day and ballots which arrived in Wednesday morning's mail, there were 2,517 ballots received out of 2,838 active voters, according to Cathy Abel, Elections Supervisor. This puts voter participation at 89% and Abel said if 25 more ballots were received, the rate would be 90%. Only one ballot is a "challenge" ballot and officials are attempting to contact the voter to make the allowed correction.

Voters chose Marty Hall to deny Commissioner Mike Talbott a third term on the Board of County Commissioners. Hall outpolled Talbott 1,682 to 582, 74.29% to 25.71%.

County voters again voted down a General Excess Levy for the operation and maintenance of the Flood Control Zone District by 60.26% against to 39.74% in favor. No votes totaled 1,404 versus 936 votes for approval. The levy would have collected $0.10 per $1,000 of assessed value on all taxable property.

For Hells Canyon Circuit, Court Commissioner G. Scott Marinella captured majorities in Columbia and Garfield counties, but it wasn't enough to overcome the voting bloc in Asotin County, tipping the seat to Brooke J. Burns. Burns received 7,129 votes and 57.38% to Marinella's 5,261 votes and 42.35%.

District 16 races for Senate and House seats were decided, with Columbia and Benton counties playing big roles in electing Republican State Senate candidate Perry Dozier, who received 1,731 votes to Danielle Garbe Reser's 614, Dozier receiving 73.82% of the Columbia County vote to 26.18% for Garbe Reser. Across the 16th District, Dozier received 23,812 and 57.76% to Garbe Reser's 17,394 and 42.19%, but Franklin County leaned toward Garbe Reser 58% to 42%, and Walla Walla County was nearly a dead heat, Dozier leading by 179 votes in Election Night returns.

Republican State Representative candidate Mark Klicker outpolled Democrat Frances Chvatal for Representative Position 1, Klicker winning with 62.27% of the vote. Klicker received 25,576 votes compared to Chvatal's 15,488. In Columbia County, Klicker received 1,782 and 76.61% to Chvatal's 544 votes and 23.39%. Chvatal won Franklin County by 54.62% to 45.32%, but trailed Klicker in Benton and Columbia counties by significant margins, except for Klicker's 2,290-vote lead in Walla Walla County.

Rep. Skyler Rude (R-16) was re-elected by a 2:1 margin, receiving 27,473 and 67.12% of the vote, compared to Democratic challenger Carly Coburn, with 13,437 and 32.83%.

Unopposed Columbia County Commissioner Ryan R. Rundell, Republican, received 1,999 votes.

In the 5th Congressional District, Columbia County voters again gave Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-5th) the nod with 1,829 votes, 77.11%, versus 543 or 22.89% for Democrat Dave Wilson. McMorris Rodgers led by 62,488 votes on Election Night, 195,907 to 133,419 for 59.38% of the vote.

President Donald J. Trump was a favorite in Columbia County, receiving 1,699 votes and 70.88% compared to Joseph R. Biden's 644 and 26.87%. As of press deadline, the presidential race was too close to call with Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan slightly in Trump's favor.

State races saw Columbia County voters favoring Republican governor candidate Loren Culp with 1,758 votes to Democratic incumbent Jay Inslee's 629 votes. Statewide, Inslee outpaced Culp by 19 points, garnering 1,964,141 votes to Culp's 1,338,491.

For Lieutenant Governor, Democrat Denny Heck got 1.4 million votes to Democrat Marko Liias's 1.002 million votes. A half million write-in votes, 19.11% of the total, were registered. Heck was Columbia County's choice with 720 votes and 62.39%.

Republican incumbent Kim Wyman edged Democrat Gael Tarleton for Secretary of State, winning with 51.8% to Tarleton's 48.1%.

Republican incumbent Treasurer Duane A. Davidson was a 3:1 favorite in Columbia County but trailed by 11 points statewide. Davidson easily outdistanced Democrat Mike Pellicciotti in county voting, 1,736 to 569, but lost by 358,681 votes across the state.

State Auditor candidate Chris Leyba (Republican) received 1,637 votes in Columbia County over Pat McCarthy (Democrat) with 659 votes, but McCarthy prevailed statewide, winning 60.39%.

County voters also preferred Republican candidate for Attorney General Matt Larkin, with 1,687 votes, versus 633 for Democratic incumbent Bob Ferguson, who won statewide handily, 58.81% to 41.09%.

Democrat candidate for Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz garnered 59% statewide to defeate Sue Kuehl Pederson (Republican) with 40.88%. Pederson won Columbia County 1,666 to 633.

Nonpartisan candidates for Superintendent of Public Instruction were Chris Reykdal and Maia Espinoza, which were almost a dead heat in Columbia County, Espinoza receiving 997 and Reykdal receiving 960, however, Reykdal grabbed 56.68% of the statewide vote for the win.

Incumbent Democrat Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler ran away with the vote, receiving 67.57%, 2,131,006, compared to Chirayu Avinash Patel's 1,009,404 votes and 32%. Patel carried Columbia County with 1,355 votes and 61.82%.

Supreme Court Position 3 went to Raquel Montoya-Lewis, who received 59.7% of the vote over Dave Larson's 39.91%. Larsen was a Columbia County favorite, receiving 61.88% and 1,211 votes to Montoya-Lewis's 38.12% and 746.

Justice Position 6 was won by G. Helen Whitener, who received 1,914,68 votes to Richard S. Serns's 902,996 votes.

Justice Position 4, Charles W. Johnson, and Position 7, Debra L. Stephens, were unopposed.

All ballot measures were rejected or repealed by Columbia County voters. Referendum 90, which would rescind sex education requirements put forth by Senate Bill 5395, went down 1,595 to 758 here, but was approved statewide 1,921,700 to 1,303,367, 59.59% to 40.41%.

Advisory Vote 32 fell by 1,908 here and lost statewide, 59.66% to 40.34%.

Advisory Vote 33 was nixed by county voters 4:1, 80.57% to 19.43%, and statewide was given thumbs down by 15 points.

Advisory Vote 34 likewise got a healthy 83.07% against here and was repealed by state voters by 60.25%.

Advisory Vote 35 got 74.99% or 1,679 voters against it, while statewide, 52.79% wanted it repealed.

Engrossed Senate Joint Resolution No. 8212 was a 3:1 downer locally and 52.66% of Washington voters agreed it should be rejected.

The Prescott Joint Park and Recreation Maintenance and Operation Levy passed 144 to 55, with Columbia County voters opposed, 5 votes against to 4 in favor.


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