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Emerson is winning Island County's commissioner's race thanks to North Whidbey voters
North Whidbey voters are making Republican Kelly Emerson the next Island County commissioner, according to a Record review of early precinct returns in the race for the District 3 seat.
Emerson is leading incumbent Democratic Island County Commissioner John Dean in the race, with the political newcomer ahead by 1,027 votes. She has 52.1 percent of the vote; Dean has 47.8.
A precinct-by-precinct review shows Emerson winning big in the North Whidbey precincts of Dugualla, Silver Lake, Highland, Countryside, Polnell and Soundview. She is also far outpacing Dean in the precincts of Fort Nugent and the in-city precincts of Oak Harbor 14 and Oak Harbor 15.
Oak Harbor 14 lies west of NW Heller Street to approximately SW Regency Drive and Olympic Drive East, and from NW Crosby Avenue south to SW 10th Avenue. Oak Harbor 15 is the area that includes Whidbey Golf and Country Club east to Swantown Road, and from North Fairway Lane south to SW Fort Nugent Drive.
Emerson is leading in 48 of the county's 83 precincts.
She is also taking 11 of Camano Island's 18 precincts.
Emerson is winning the vote on Camano by a 122-vote margin, with 2,942 votes to Dean's 2,820.
Camano is splitting along a familiar political fault line.
Just like on Whidbey Island, the voters on Camano typically lean to the right on the north end of the island, and to the left on the sound end.
Emerson has won every precinct north of the Countryclub 2 Precinct, with the exception of Triangle Cove 2 and Utsalady 2. Utsalady 2 is the island's northernmost precinct, and also where Dean lives.
The next vote tally is expected to be released at 5 p.m. today.