Thurston County officials certified the results of the November general election on Tuesday, solidifying victories for Commissioner Tye Menser, Sheriff-elect Derek Sanders and others.
About 64.8% of the county’s 195,804 registered voters cast ballots in the election, according to the auditor’s office. They did so during a year when most Thurston County officials ran for reelection and the matter of expanding the county commission was on the ballot.
Chief Civil Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Elizabeth Petrich, Elections Manager Tillie Naputi-Pullar and Commissioner Gary Edwards signed off on the certification during an afternoon meeting of the Thurston County Canvassing Board.
Petrich and Naputi-Pullar stood in as board members for Prosecuting Attorney Jon Tunheim and Auditor Mary Hall because both of them were candidates in the general election.
In the District 3 commissioner race, Menser won re-election with 56.4% (69,524 votes) while Republican Vivian Eason earned 43.5% (53,594 votes), according to the final tally. In a Nov. 14 statement, Menser declared victory and thanked his supporters.
“I am humbled to have the opportunity to build on what I have learned in my first term and continue the work to make Thurston County more inclusive and sustainable,” Menser said.
Among other issues, Menser said he aims to continue working on addressing homelessness, protecting the environment and reducing racial disparities in public health and the criminal justice system.
“Transformative change is difficult work that requires a sustained effort from leaders at every level of government,” Menser said. “Thank you again for your commitment to good local government and for trusting me to push this effort forward.”
Eason initially held off on conceding because thousands of votes were still being counted. In a Nov. 14 Facebook post, she thanked voters but said she felt saddened by the returns.
“Yes, I’m sad, disappointed but I know there’s purpose in my life to help others,” Eason said. “Keep up the faith for our great country. Love and appreciate you all.”
On Monday, she told her followers the race was over, but “who knows what the future holds.”
In the contentious sheriff race, Sanders claimed about 55.3% (65,249 votes) while Snaza earned 44.2% (52,093 votes). This made Snaza the only incumbent to lose his race this year.
Sanders declared victory last week and indicated he’s preparing for the role, The Olympian previously reported. He recently started identifying members of his future command staff on Facebook.
Voters also approved measures to expand the Board of County Commissioners and the Port of Olympia Commission from three to five members.
In the final tallies, about 55.2% (66,779) voted to approve Thurston County Proposition No. 1 and 44.8% (54,219) voted against it. With Port of Olympia Proposition No. 1, about 51% (61,201) voted in favor of it and 49% (58,765) voted against it.
The county has released a map of proposed district boundaries for the new commission, The Olympian previously reported. A public hearing on the proposal will be held on Dec. 7.
In the auditor race, Democrat Mary Hall coasted to victory with about 62% (76,590 votes). Her challenger Sal Militello, a Republican, earned just 38% (46,891 votes).
Hall has served as auditor since 2013. In addition to managing elections, the auditor’s office is responsible for recording and maintaining county records, licensing vehicles and vessels and other financial services.
Incumbent Clerk Linda Enlow won her race with 55.3% (58,193 votes), securing yet another term after first being elected in 2014.
She defeated Tonya Moore, who claimed 41.3% (43,462 votes). Both candidates ran as Democrats.
Assessor Steven Drew also won his race with 56.3% (68,444 votes) while challenger Dave Kolar earned 43.5% (52,856 votes).
Drew, a Democrat, has served as county assessor since 2010. He succeeded despite recent allegations against him by his former chief deputy.
Treasurer Jeff Gadman claimed 63.2% (74,211) of the vote by the final tally. His challenger, Jeff Curry, received 36.4% (42,690) of the vote.
Gadman, a Democrat, was first elected treasurer in 2017 after being appointed to the position earlier that year. Curry has worked as a Tumwater school bus driver and has no party preference.
Coroner Gary Warnock and Prosecuting Attorney Jon Tunheim won re-election after running unopposed.
The Washington Secretary of State has until Dec. 8 to certify returns.