Island County’s first female commissioner will get another four years in office, according to Tuesday’s first election count.
Incumbent Commissioner Helen Price Johnson, a Democrat, has a lead over Republican challenger Jeff Lauderdale for the District 1 position, which covers South and Central Whidbey. Price Johnson has 17,420 votes, or 52 percent, while Lauderdale has 16,019, or 48 percent.
“I do think the race will narrow but it looks like my lead will hold,” Price Johnson said.
Jill Johnson, a Republican, is ahead of Democratic Commissioner Angie Homola by 2 percent of the vote for the District 2 position, which represents the Oak Harbor area. She has 17,095 ballots cast in her favor, or 51 percent, while Homola has 16,400 votes, which is 49 percent.
“It was a clear message and I am really excited to represent the voters of District 2 and all the citizens of Island County,” Johnson said Tuesday night. “There was no indecision in this vote at all.”
South Whidbey Fire/EMS’s levy lift proposition is passing with a hefty 58.6 percent of the vote. The measure, which raises the levy rate from about 61 cents to 76 cents per $1,000 of assessed value to pay for existing operations, needs only a simple majority to pass.
“The fire department would like to greatly thank the public for its support,” Assistant Fire Chief Paul Busch said.
In the hotly contested race for the District 10 senate seat, Democrat Mary Margaret Haugen, the longtime senator, is losing to Republican challenger Barbara Bailey in Island County results. Bailey has 17,733 votes, or 52 percent, while Haugen has 16,437 votes, or 48 percent.
The votes for the entire district weren’t available by press time.
In the race for Position 1 in the 10th Legislative District, incumbent Norma Smith, R-Clinton, was well on her way to defeating challenger Aaron Simpson, D-Langley, receiving 61 percent of the vote in Island County.
Smith said there are still a lot more votes to be counted in Snohomish and Skagit counties but was optimistic of a favorable result considering the wide margin of her lead and her win in the primary.
“I’m deeply grateful for the support I’ve gotten,” she said.
For the district’s Position 2 seat, Republican candidate Dave Hayes has 16,809, or 51 percent, and Democrat Tom Riggs garnered 16,241 or 49 percent.
In the major state initiatives, Island County voters mirrored statewide results in casting ballots in favor of legalizing marijuana, approving same-sex marriage and approving charter schools.
Island County voters also favored Republican candidate Rob McKenna over Democrat Jay Inslee for governor. McKenna earned 53 percent of Island County votes while statewide he has just 48 percent.
U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, a Democrat, and Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell are both ahead.
President Barack Obama won in Island County, with nearly 51 percent of the vote as compared to Mitt Romney’s 47 percent.