First look: Primary precinct results, by the numbers
August 27, 2008 · Updated 2:45 PM
Island County Commissioner Phil Bakke is declaring victory and moving on to the November election.
Bakke has been battling no-party candidate Curt Gordon for the second spot on the November ticket in a four-way race for the District 1 seat on the board of county commissioners.
While Democrat Helen Price Johnson has never lost her lead in the contest, and Republican Reece Rose has not moved out of fourth place, Bakke and Gordon have been watching election returns from the primary that have made the race for second place too close to call.
Under Washington’s new top-two primary, the two candidates with the most votes advance to the general election, regardless of party.
Bakke has had a slim lead since Election Day. His advantage over Gordon slipped to 22 votes last week before Bakke’s advantage lurched up to 39 votes late Monday.
County election officials said Monday there are about 450 votes countywide left to count this week.
“There’s still some more votes to count,” Bakke said. “I’m still excited. It’s a great opportunity to serve the public.”
“The job interview continues,” he added.
Price Johnson remains firmly in front, with 5,202 votes in the race.
Bakke has 2,265, and Gordon, 2,226.
Reece Rose remains in fourth place, with 1,589 total votes.
Bakke said he expected his advantage to grow, given that he made a special, direct-mail appeal to military voters. Ballots coming from military members overseas are typically counted last, he said.
Too soon for talk of recount
Gordon said the changing nature of the race has definitely kept it interesting, but he wasn’t out of the race yet.
“It’s gone back and forth, hasn’t it?” Gordon said.
“I don’t know with as few votes that it’s going to change very much,” he added.
Still, Gordon said he would wait until the close of his campaign to make a final statement on the race.
“I think I owe it to my supporters to wait until the election is certified,” he said.
“We made a statement with our campaign, and hopefully everybody is more aware of the people aspect of Island County as opposed to all the political — for lack of a better term — mumbo jumbo.”
Gordon said it was too soon to say if he would ask for a recount.
Subsequent vote counts are expected to be released by county election workers on Wednesday and perhaps Friday.
The election will be certified as official on Sept. 3.
So far, the gap between Bakke and Gordon is too great to trigger a mandatory recount.
For a mandatory recount, the difference has to be less than a 150 votes or .5 percent. Right now, the difference is .8 percent with less than 500 votes left to be counted.
Central Whidbey is key
An analysis of preliminary precinct returns by The Record on Monday show Bakke has Central Whidbey to thank for his advancement to November.
In the battle for second place, Gordon is in the number-two spot in 14 of the district ’s 27 precincts, while Bakke has 12 and Rose, one.
Though Bakke is taking fewer precincts, he has the lead right now because he is claiming a bigger portion of the votes in the precincts he did win.
Simply put: He has more votes in fewer places.
And it’s the area that rings Penn Cove that is currently putting the incumbent over the top. Bakke has a double-digit point lead over Gordon in six precincts; Central, Penn Cove, San de Fuca, Westview, Admiralty and Coveland.
In the Central and Admiralty precincts, Bakke has gotten 60 votes or more above Gordon.
And in Westview, Hastie Lake and Penn Cove, Bakke was winning those precincts with 34, 39 and 37 percent of the vote, respectively.
Price Johnson has 22 in Westview, 24 in Hastie Lake, and 30 in Penn Cove.
Elsewhere, the battle was tighter for Bakke and Gordon.
Gordon and Bakke were at a near tie in Lagoon Point, with Bakke at 101 votes for 19.8 percent, and Gordon with 98 votes at 19.22 percent of the vote.
They were also nearly tied in Double Buff, with Gordon at 51 votes and 21.7 percent of the vote, and Bakke with 50 votes and 21.2 percent.
The pair battled to a near draw in the district’s biggest precincts; Gordon won 10 precincts that have populations of more than 500 voters, while Bakke claimed eight.
Gordon did best overall in his home precinct of Clinton, with 33 percent of the vote. Price Johnson was narrowly winning Clinton with 34 percent, or 64 votes to Gordon’s 62.
Gordon also did well in the precincts of Austin, with 24 percent, Freeland (26 percent), and Useless Bay (27 percent).
Bakke, who once lived in Freeland, said he was probably hurt in the precinct tally by the county’s footdragging on the adoption of Freeland’s growth plan. The delay harkens back to Mike Shelton’s time on the board of commissioners, when the former South End commissioner decided to put the growth plan on the shelf until Freeland finalized its plan for new sewers.
“I think the length of time it took to finally adopt a plan was put on my doorstep, even though it wasn’t my decision,” Bakke said.
Bakke is also outright winning in three Oak Harbor-south precincts that Price Johnson has not been able to pull into the win column: Penn Cove, Hastie Lake, and Westview.
Despite her high number of votes countywide, Price Johnson gained a majority of votes in only six precincts throughout the district; Sandy Point (53 percent), Saratoga (53), Maxwelton (51), Lone Lake (51), and the two Langley precincts, Langley 1 (71) and Langley 2 (68).
Rose came in second in one precinct, bringing in 25 percent of the vote in the Admiralty precinct. Price Johnson had 42 percent of the vote there; Bakke 19, Gordon, 12.
District 2 race not close
Democratic challenger Angie Homola was well behind longtime Republican incumbent Mac McDowell in the race for the District 2 seat on the Island County board of commissioners.
McDowell had 56 percent, or 2,790 votes, to Homola’s 43 percent (2,157 votes) on Monday.
According to precinct returns reviewed Monday, the closest battle was in West Beach, where Homola had the lead with 125 votes to McDowell’s 123 (49 percent).
Homola was also doing well in the Oak Harbor 5 precinct, with 48 percent of the vote to McDowell’s 51 percent. She also trailed by a similar margin in the Oak Harbor 10 precinct.
Governor does better
Gov. Christine Gregoire was faring better in Island County than the Democrat did during her prior match with Republican Dino Rossi in 2004.
Gregoire leads in Island County votes with 48 percent, according to Monday’s returns. She lost the county to Rossi in 2004, when he won with 51 percent of the turnout in the governor’s race.
Gregoire made gains in 53 precincts across Island County compared with the last time she faced Rossi on the ballot in November 2004.
Her percent of the vote remained unchanged in five precincts — Camano, Dugualla, Glendale, San de Fuca and Soundview — compared to the 2004 election.
Her percent of the vote fell in six districts; by just one point in Cornet, Mabana, Maple Grove and Highland, and by four points in Triangle Cove and Polnell.
Though her percentage of the vote stayed the same or fell in four Camano Island precincts, Gregoire is making gains there.
She won the most votes in two Camano Island precincts in the primary: Point Allen on the south end of the island, and Utsalady on the north. In the 2004 general election, Rossi got the most votes in every Camano Island precinct.
Gregoire is also making progress in the several typically Republican-leaning precincts on the north end of Whidbey Island.
During last week’s primary, she posted a double-digit gain over her 2004 performance in Scenic Heights. Gregoire won the precinct with 52 percent of the vote, a big turnaround from the last governor’s race where Rossi carried the precinct at Oak Harbor’s southern edge with 60 percent of the vote.
Gregoire also won three in-city precincts — Oak Harbor 1, Oak Harbor 5 and Oak Harbor 7. In 2004, Rossi won every precinct in Whidbey’s biggest city, and all but one precinct by a double-digit lead.
"We're pleased with the governor's showing in Island County. She's made a concerted effort to spend time in Island County and has truly made progress
on issues that matter to residents, like the economy, education and healthcare," said Debra Carnes, a spokeswoman for the Gregoire campaign. "She's also shown bold leadership in moving forward with the replacement of our aging ferry fleet."
"Gov. Gregoire is not taking this election for granted. She will continue to work hard, talking with voters and making sure that their priorities are her priorities," Carnes added.
"Come November, we look forward to another strong showing from Island County."
Statewide, Gregoire leads with 48 percent of the vote to Rossi’s 46 percent.
Haugen leads in Senate
Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen has won a majority of votes in Island County over Republican challenger Linda Haddon of Oak Harbor and America’s Third Party candidate Sarah Hart in the Senate race for the 10th District.
Haugen, a Democrat, had 52 percent of the vote in the county on Monday; Haddon was second with 42 percent and will advance to the general election. Hart had 4 percent of 24,544 votes counted so far.
According to a review of preliminary precinct returns, Haddon did best in her home area of Oak Harbor, as expected.
Haugen received the majority vote in each of Camano Island’s 10 precincts, and pulled in more than 60 percent of the vote in half; the precincts of Camano, Countryclub, Madrona, Utsalady and Point Allen.
Hart pulled in 6.3 percent of the vote in Penn Cove, and did even better, with 6.7 percent, in nearby San de Fuca.
Her best showing was in Oak Harbor 11, with 7.4 percent of the vote, and Oak Harbor 12, with 7.1 percent of the vote.
Across the 10th District, Haugen has 53 percent of the vote; Haddon, 42 percent, and Hart, 4.7 percent.
Bailey has strong lead
Incumbent Republican Barbara Bailey had a strong showing in her three-way primary race, and will advance to the November election against Democrat Patricia Terry of Camano Island for the Position 2 seat in the state House.
Democrat Ann McDonald will not advance.
Even so, she was competitive with Terry in several precincts throughout Island County.
Terry and McDonald were nearly tied in Austin, with 28 and 26 percent of the vote respectively, in the South Whidbey precinct.
McDonald had her best showing in Clinton, beating Terry with 39 percent of the vote to her 27, or 52 votes to 49.
And in Maxwelton, McDonald was winning the battle of the Democrats with 33 percent of the vote or 157 votes to Terry’s 143.
McDonald also tied Terry in the Oak Harbor 9 precinct, with each pulling in 16.7 percent of the vote.
Despite the challenge of an in-party rival, Terry pulled in enough votes in the Sandy Point precinct to be the outright winner, besting Bailey by 191 to 190 votes.
Terry also won the most votes, with 39 percent, in Saratoga.
Knue wins on South End, trailing overall
In the two-way race between incumbent Republican Norma Smith and Democrat Tim Knue for the Position 1 seat in the House’s 10th District, Smith was leading with 53 percent of the vote in 37,186 votes counted across the district.
Though he is on the losing end in the primary, Knue won many South End precincts over Smith, who is from Clinton.
The vote was almost split in Austin, where Smith led Knue by just three votes, 252 to 249.
In Central, Smith was ahead by two votes, 203 to 201.
Knue won Deer Lake, Freeland, Glendale, Greenbank, Lagoon Point, Sandy Point, Saratoga, Maxwelton, Lone Lake and Bush Point precincts, as well as Point Allen on Camano, plus Coupeville 1, Coupeville 2, Oak Harbor 7 and Admiralty.
Race is a walk for Larsen
Incumbent Democrat Rick Larsen was handily beating Republican challenger Rick Bart, with 54 percent of the vote across U.S. Congressional District 2, in votes counted through Monday.
Even so, precinct returns showed several areas where the race was competitive, especially on North Whidbey.
Larsen and Bart were tied at 46.8 percent of the vote, with each having 118 votes each, in Cornet.
In Hastie Lake, Larsen was one vote in front, 74-73.
Bart won with 51 percent in Polnell, and Soundview (50) and Fort Nugent (46).
On Camano, Larsen was up by just eight votes in Livingston Bay, and had 47 percent of the vote to Bart’s 45.
Bart had 51 percent of the vote in Maple Grove, and 49 percent in Triangle Cove, enough to win there, too.
Preliminary votes by precinct