Wednesday, November 8, 2006
There might have been a Democratic tide sweeping the country on Nov. 7, but no one bothered to tell it to Klickitat County.
While the Democratic Party made major gains across the United States, those results did not trickle down to this part of Washington. On the contrary: Republicans did quite well here.
In the race for an open seat on the Klickitat County Board of Commissioners, Republican candidate David Sauter was running well ahead of Democrat Chris Connolly, who was making her second bid for the commission seat.
In incomplete and unofficial returns, Sauter had 3,488 votes, about 55 percent, to Connolly's 2,820 votes, or 45 percent.
In the contest to determine who will serve as Klickitat County Auditor for the next four years, Republican challenger Brenda Sorensen had a slight lead of 3,207 votes to 3,068 votes for Pafford, the Democratic incumbent.
In the hotly-contested battle to decide who will serve as the Klickitat Public Utility District Commissioner, two-term incumbent Randy Knowles leads challenger Bob Havig in incomplete returns. Knowles had 54 percent of the vote to Havig's 45 percent. At stake is a six-year term on the PUD board.
Skamania County was more of a mixed bag, with Democrat Jamie Tolfree leading with 1,818 votes (50.8 percent) over Republican Tracy Wyckoff's 1,760 votes (49.2 percent) to be the next Skamania County Commissioner. Voters backed incumbent Republican Mike Garvison for Skamania County Auditor, with Garvison leading with 52.9 percent of the vote to Democrat Ila Mae Thompson's 47.2 percent.
State Sen. Jim Honeyford (R.-15th District) was swamping his Democratic Party challenger Tomas Villanueva. Honeyford had about 62 percent of the vote, with Villanueva at about 38 percent.
Two other 15th District Republicans were also doing very well: incumbents Dan Newhouse and Bruce Chandler were running far ahead in their contests to hold their seats in the State House of Representatives.
In statewide returns, Washington tended to reflect the overall mood of the nation by tending to support Democratic Party candidates. U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell appears to be relatively easily turning back a challenge from Republican Mike McGavik for a six-year term in the Senate. Cantwell had 56 percent of the vote to McGavik's 41 percent.
In Washington's 4th Congressional District, six-term incumbent Republican Doc Hastings was holding off a challenge from Democrat Richard Wright. Hastings led by about 15,000 votes in the district.
In other key local races: Levy measures in two local fire districts had split results. In Fire District 3 in the Husum area, voters were rejecting a levy to upgrade infrastructure at the local fire stations with 652 "No" votes versus 423 "Yes" votes. In Fire District 4, in the Lyle area, however, a levy lid life was on its way to passing, with 197 "Yes" votes and 147 "No" votes.
The numbers will be updated in next week's issue of The Enterprise.