SOUTH BEND - Pacific County turned in a whopping 84.73 percent voter turnout in the 2020 General Election last Tuesday (Nov. 3). Statewide, the voter turnout is 81.26 percent. A total of 14,134 ballots were tabulated of the 16,681 registered voters in the 39 precincts. The next ballot count is Nov. 24, which is the certification date. The last ballot results in the county were calculated Friday, 4 pm, and there are only five left to count. The next statewide ballot count was scheduled for Monday, Nov. 9.
Takko, Blake Lose
The two big disappointments for Democrats were that longtime veteran politicos Dean Takko (D-Longview) and Brian Blake (D-Aberdeen) were defeated.
Republicans carried every contest on the ballot in the county except for three, including Legislative District 19 State Senator, where long-time incumbent Takko won the county over Jeff Wilson (R-Longview), 51.59 percent to 48.23 percent, but was defeated statewide (55.25% to 44.64%); Legislative District 19 State Representative Position 2, where another longtime incumbent Blake won the county 52.90-46.93 versus Joel McEntire (R-Wahkiakum), but McEntire prevailed statewide (52.55-47.37); and in the race for Washington State Insurance Commissioner, Mike Kreidler (D-Tumwater) carried 57.23 percent to 42.28 percent for Chirayu Avinash Patel (R-Tacoma) in the county and also won by a landslide statewide.
Even dethroned (if you will) President Donald Trump won Pacific County over President-Elect Joe Biden (D-Deleware) 49.43 to 48.33. Trump got 6,930 votes compared to 6,776 for Biden.
Wilson and McEntire carried the remaining four counties to overturn the 19th Legislative District to all-Republican team in Olympia.
Chairpersons Weigh In
"Pacific County was a target," Pacific County Republican Chairperson Nansen Malin told the Herald late Sunday night. "So much money and time poured into little old Pacific County. We were glad to hold our own against the barrage of PAC and DC money, untold glossy mailers and countless ads, calls and door knocks. Our volunteer base was small but mighty and we held our finger in the dike enough to help the wave sweep the district."
"First, let me say congratulations to all of the candidates, winners and losers, Republican and Democrat," Pacific County Democrat Chair Kenneth R. Bell told the Herald Wednesday morning. "Running for an elective office is both financially challenging and extremely time consuming. Anyone who undertakes such an endeavor as to run for a political office should be praised by all of the citizens of this great country. Let me also thank all of those volunteers who gave countless hours in support of their chosen candidates. Their efforts were huge and they seldom get recognition for that effort.
"To say that I am disappointed in the showing of the Democratic candidates as a whole sends a message to all Democrats that our message is not getting where it needs to be or not resonating with the general public," Bell added. "Regardless, once the election results are in, we are all Americans and should support those who won election. I hope people will remember that those running for and those winning elections are our friends, neighbors, and community members who have sacrificed their time and effort on our behalf. We may all have different opinions or political beliefs, but in the end we are all Americans searching for the best life we can possibly have for all of the people in this country."
Wilson, McEntire Talk to Herald
Wilson and McEntire offered comments to the Herald about the election early Saturday afternoon.
"I am humbled by the outpouring of support I received all along this journey," Wilson said. "Together we succeeded in bringing change to the 19th District and it will be my great honor to represent you as Senator.
"Running a campaign in the time of Covid-19 really meant throwing the traditional rule book out the window," Wilson continued. "Meeting people at the grassroots level, listening to them, and seeing their shared challenges and experiences led me to voice those concerns - whether it was Aberdeen's unaccountable syringe program, out of control taxation, or the majority party's complete disregard for the voter's will.
"I am proud of the campaign we ran and the people who made it possible," Wilson added. "Our success today symbolizes that traditional politics are on the way out the door and the public will no longer tolerate dishonesty in campaign elections. The voters demand transparency and accountability from their Legislators.
"This session will likely be an untraditional one as the Senate begins to face the budgetary shortfall and address the impacts of Covid-19 on schools and communities," Wilson noted. "Let's unite in common cause for the place we call home, as we work together to improve our communities that make the 19th District unique.
"I want to thank Senator Takko for his work representing the district, and his commitment to public service," Wilson said. "I hope together we can strive for a more prosperous, healthier life, in the 19th District."
McEntire told the Herald, "I am thrilled to have the opportunity to serve the people of Southwest Washington for the next two years. The campaign was hard fought and I am definitely pleased with the results. I am thankful for all those who donated their time and means to make this a possibility. I won't let you down."
Olsen, Wolfe Reelected
In the Pacific County Commissioner's No. 1 race, incumbent Republican Lisa Olsen of South Bend won significantly over Darrell Moudry (D-South Bend) by more than nine percent. Olsen garnered 7,370 votes (54.59%) compared to 6,104 (45.21%) for Moudry.
"I would like to thank the residents of Pacific County for entrusting me with another four years as your county commissioner," Olsen told the Herald late Sunday night. "I have been working on a number of important issues to our county and it's economy during my first term and intend to continue doing so.
"Timber, fishing and farming are the natural resource industries our county was built on and there is no reason they cannot continue to be viable and vibrant family wage job options for our residents, but there are still challenges facing all these industries," Olsen said. "There are other important issues I intend to continue addressing such as septage disposal management and the fact that our cemeteries are failing and need help.
"As always, my door is always open, even if sometimes it is virtually these days," Olsen said. "Stop by, call or email me, and I will do my best to answer your questions and be as responsive as I can to your concerns."
"Lisa has a strong foundation of support," Malin said. "She works hard for the citizens and is doing a fantastic job of representing us. Her work with natural resource issues has garnered respect and is bringing us fresh options. Lisa is like Congresswoman Herrera Beutler, she works hard across the aisle to serve everyone in the district."
Moudry offered a rather lengthy final statement to the Herald:
"For those of you that visited my website you know my dad was very big on being positive, and one of his favorite phrases was. 'The glass is half full.' With that in mind, I would like to take this opportunity to document what I'm thankful for, as the campaign itself ended in defeat, and only one outcome would have made me happy.
"First I'm very thankful for my small but awesome campaign staff. A special thanks to my campaign and full time CFO, chief navigator, and morale booster, my lovely wife Kellie. Also a big thanks to my youngest daughter Jayden, who was during the campaign, and always is my chief reality advisor. And to my oldest daughter whom without her help this campaign never would have gotten off the ground, my campaign manager, Chelsea. She designed my literature, published and managed my web page, set up my Facebook and Instagram, and made my social media the envy of this campaign cycle. Without their help none of this was possible, and I'm fortunate to have such a wonderful family to support me long after the election.
"I'm also very thankful for all of the support I've received from so many of our great citizens. Accepting signs, word of mouth advertising, donations, and of course the many votes. It was a joy talking with so many of you online and in person. I know we fell short, but I'm truly amazed at how many of you had faith in my message and ability, and turned out to mark my name on the ballot.
"Lastly I would like to show my appreciation for those I work with and around while conducting maintenance for Pacific County. I'm fortunate to have gotten to know, and continue to meet the many great people that work for the county. Though I wanted nothing more than to become your next commissioner, I'm grateful for a positive work environment and people that make going to work a pleasure."
Wolfe Wins Hard Fought
Battle Against Driscoll
Incumbent Democrat Frank Wolfe was reelected as Pacific County Commissioner No. 2 over Dan Driscoll.
"I am gratified that the majority of the electorate seems to have decided in my favor, and allowed me to continue to serve the citizens of Pacific County for four more years," Wolfe told the Herald Saturday night.
"As the results on election night are preliminary and the final count doesn't usually take place until at least the next day, and also because campaigns can be exhausting times for those of us who are holding down a commissioner job, while running a campaign, and since that late in the game, there is nothing a candidate can do to actually change the outcome of the election results," Wolfe added. "My wife and I called it a day shortly after dinner.
"Campaigning took a lot of time, particularly in the last month or two before election day," Wolfe said. "But once the polls close, there is nothing more to be done. Since a candidate has ten days to remove their signs, and the weather turned wet, the sign collection has been in stages, based on the weather, and starting the next day."
Driscoll gave a final election statement to the Herald Sunday night, "Thank you to everyone who supported my campaign to be the county commissioner representing District Two. This result may leave many voters in District Two continuing to feel they have taxation without representation. I hope commissioners Wolfe, Olsen and Runyon will work to alleviate this belief. I am ready to work with any and all commissioners who want to move forward and serve all citizens of this county.
"Citizens who want a representative government need to constantly participate in our county government," Driscoll continued. "We need to support and work with government officials who believe it is government's role to serve the people. Unless we stand up to those who think it's the peoples' role to serve government and its favored citizens, our freedoms will erode to the point where we won't have any.
"It is disappointing that a few supporters of Frank Wolfe felt that slander, libel, character assassination and theft were appropriate tactics for winning this race,' Driscoll added. "I am proud that none of these tactics were used in support of my campaign. I hope in future races, we will all acknowledge the ends don't justify the means. Red, Blue and Purple are colors, not people. Pacific County has great people who deserve great representatives. May all our representatives unite us as they work to serve us. Partisan tribalism is counter-productive to everything I love about the USA. God bless everyone who has and will work for our freedoms."
Hererra Beutler Victorious
Statewide, Jamie Herrera Beutler (R-Ridgefield) retained her seat in the U.S. House of Representatives Congressional District 3 race over Carolyn Long (D-Vancouver), 56.32 percent to 43.45. At 5 pm, Friday, Herrera Beutler garnered 231,291 votes to 178,427 for Long. Herrera Beutler carried Pacific County 54.27 percent to 45.56 percent. Herrera Beutler won all eight counties in the Southwest Washington contest.
"Voters in Southwest Washington know that Jaime represents the District and is a problem solver," Malin stated. "She is not afraid to reach across party lines and find common ground to represent the needs of our community. We are so happy the voters rewarded her with their confidence again this election. The Third Congressional District is the only red district on the west coast from Mexico to Canada for the second consecutive election."
Long's office released the following statement to the Herald Saturday afternoon:
"I am so incredibly proud of the strength of this grassroots campaign. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this incredible effort and those who have supported us with their vote.
"From reaching out to friends, family, and neighbors all across Southwest Washington to speak about the campaign, to asking me questions and letting me know about the issues that are on your mind, to chipping in with a few bucks here and there -- you were there for me and I deeply appreciate it.
"I'm proud we ran a campaign based on facts, policy, and the truth. I am someone who believes in running on the issues and leading a campaign based on integrity and trust. It's why I didn't take a dime of corporate PAC money. At the end of each day, I reminded myself that how one runs a campaign is a reflection of who they are as a person.
"Thank you, again, to everyone who has supported us and been a part of this effort. I am proud of everything we have accomplished."
Walsh Wins Easily
Incumbent State Representative Jim Walsh (R-Aberdeen) blew out Marianna Everson (D-Montesano) 59.33 percent to 40.56 percent in the Position 1 race in Legislative District 19. Walsh also had a double-digit win in the county.
"The biggest and most exciting news of the election is the change in the 19th Legislative District," said. "Representative Jim Walsh led the pack of Republican candidates for the 19th and for a third time voters responded with Walsh besting his previous close races with a remarkable 56 percent of the vote." Walsh was first elected in 2016 after over 30 plus years of all Democratic Representation of the 19th in Olympia."
Hickey Defeats Swanson
Pam Hickey unseated incumbent PUD Commissioner Mike Swanson in the District 2 contest. Hickey received 52.12 percent (6,155 votes) compared to 46.69 percent for Swanson, who had 5,514 votes.
"I am honored the the voters of Pacific County have elected me to be the next PUD Number 2 Commissioner 1," Hickey told the Herald Saturday afternoon. "I would like to thank everyone that helped me in this endeavor. I look forward to representing all the ratepayers of PUD Number2 and will work tirelessly on their behalf. I would also like to acknowledge Mike Swanson for his 12 years of service to the ratepayers and wish him well in his future endeavors."
Swanson told the Herald Sunday afternoon, "I am thankful to have served the owners of our PUD for 12 years and I want the best for the new commissioner. Pacific County PUD is in the best hands with our general manager Jason Dunsmoor and his amazing staff. Our linemen make the job of commissioner easy as they are the face of our utility and they do an outstanding job."
Also in Pacific County, the Emergency Medical Service 1 Ambulance and Emercency Medical Services Funding Measure easily passed (74.27% to 25.73%). All 23 of the precincts involved passed the measure.
Statewide voting in state measures, the sex education referendum in schools passed, four advisory votes were rejected and one Senate Joint resolution was voted down.
"In addition to the overwhelming turnout for Republican candidates in a long held liberal county, all the progressive measures were defeated here locally. That says something." Malin continued. "I am calling it a red wave, but we can all work together on the issues that concern our rural community. We are a mix of retired, working families, young, old, farmers, fishermen and women, shellfish growers and other natural resource earners, educators, health care heroes and service industry workers who now co-exist with a new technology focused influx of remote working residents. The future is bright for Pacific County - no matter what party you identify with!"
Inslee, Wyman Prevail
Governor Jay Inslee romped over Loren Culp, 57.02% to 42.66% statewide. So far, Inslee has 2.2 million votes compared to 1.6 million for Culp, who is actually protesting the legitimacy of the results. There are only 103,739 votes to be counted. Culp, who carried more counties (25 to 13) than Inslee, captured Pacific County, 53.2 percent to 46.5 percent.
In other statewide races, Secretary of State Kim Wyman, an incumbent Republican, easily outdistanced Democrat Gael Tarleton 58.13% to 41.65%. Wyman won all but three counties.
For Lt. Governor, Denny Heck whipped fellow Democrat Marko Liias 54.18% to 24.54%.
In the state treasurer's race, Democrat Mike Pellicciotti was a 53.73 percent winner over Duane Davidson (46.17%).
Pat McCarthy (41.53%) won the state auditor's contest over Republican Chris Leyba, (58.38%). Leyba took Pacific County, 49.95 to 49.85, or just 13 votes.
Bob Ferguson took down Matt Larkin in the attorney's general race, 56.80% to 43.09%.
Hilary Franz (57.06) won over Sue Kuehl Pederson (42.84) for commissioner of public lands.
Incumbent Chris Reykdal won the non-partisan Superintendent of Public Instruction election over Maia Espinoza, 54.90 to 44.56. Reykdal also won in the county vote.
Washington State Insurance Commissioner Kreidler won another term, defeating Patel, 65.76 percent to 33.76 percent.
For information on the judicial elections, please go to the Pacific County Auditor website.