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First election count shows Whidbey General Hospital measure passing

Christina Hilkey drops off her ballot in Coupeville Monday with the help of her pugs, Lulu and Mouchie. Election Day was Tuesday, Nov. 5. For up-to-date election results, visit the South Whidbey Record’s website throughout the week at southwhidbeyrecord.com - Celeste Erickson / The Record
Christina Hilkey drops off her ballot in Coupeville Monday with the help of her pugs, Lulu and Mouchie. Election Day was Tuesday, Nov. 5. For up-to-date election results, visit the South Whidbey Record’s website throughout the week at southwhidbeyrecord.com
— image credit: Celeste Erickson / The Record

Based on a first tally of November general election ballots, Whidbey General Hospital’s $50 million expansion proposal appears to be passing.

The Island County Elections Office released it’s first count Tuesday evening and according to the results, the hospital  measure is succeeding with 61.75 percent of the vote. The bond needs a supermajority of 60 percent to pass.

“Never underestimate what a small group of dedicated people can do,” said Joe Mosolino, paraphrasing a quote from Margaret Mead. “They can change the world.”

Mosolino is chairman of Friends of Whidbey General, a citizen advocacy group that’s worked to promote the bond proposal. The hospital ran a similar measure several years ago but it was defeated and the group has been concentrating its efforts for months in areas where it failed, mostly areas of North Whidbey. Tuesday’s results show the effort paid off, Mosolino said.

Tuesday’s election count also shows Rocco Gianni to be leading the race for South Whidbey School Board Position 5. Gianni captured 54.64 percent of the vote compared to challenger Betty Bond’s 45.36 percent of the vote.

“I’m pretty excited, I’m pretty happy,” Gianni said. “I’ll be able to help the kids. That’s the bottom line.”

The results also show incumbent Curt Gordon with a commanding lead over Ed Jenkins for Position 3 of the Port of South Whidbey’s Board of Commissioners. So far, Gordon has received 76.8 percent of the vote to Jenkin’s 23.2 percent.

“I think this is a pretty clear statement that we need to keep heading in the same direction,” said Gordon, though he said there may be things that can be improved.

Last but not least, Bob Hezel also has a hefty lead over Captn Blynd for Position 3 of the South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District. He claimed 78.13 percent of the vote to Blynd’s 21.87 percent.

“Thanks for your support and I’ll do my best to exceed your expectations,” said Hezel, in a message to voters.

Finally, Initiative 522 appears to be failing. County voters have rejected the proposal with 52.9 percent voting against the measure, and statewide it’s failing by 53.44 percent of the vote.

According to the elections office, there are 3,500 ballots left to be counted of 18,584 and the next batch of results will be released today at 5 p.m.

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