For the 2015 Grays Harbor County primary election several incumbents did not fair well or are in a neck-and-neck race going into the general election come November 3.
Voter turnout was down 4% from the 2011 election when at that time there were 30 precincts. Now with 47 precincts representing over 26,500 voters, this primary was decided by just over 31% of those registered or 8,300 as compared to 8,700 in 2011.
The Races In Mayoral races Aberdeen Mayor Bill Simpson drew only 20% of the vote with newcomer Erik Larson capturing over 50%. Advancing into the general election it looks like Larson will face Jack Micheau to see who will be the new Mayor of Aberdeen. The certification of the vote is planned for August 18. In Hoquiam it was a closer race with an almost virtual split between Mayor Jack Durney seeking re-election and Hoquiam Ward 2, City Council member, Jasmine Dickoff. Last time Durney ran for office, 2007, he saw a similar plight by running against Jennifer Anderson when he was down in the primary by 8%, but pulled off the general election with a 15% margin.
For the Elma Mayor position Mayor Dave Osgood will advance and go head-to-head with candidate Jim Sorenson. With four candidates to choose from in the primary, voters in Elma are still behind their current mayor, but Elroy Papke made a good showing taking 22% of the overall vote. Mayor Osgood lead by only 8% through the primary and it will be a tight race going into the general election with 170 votes up for grabs. Sorenson will only need 40 of those votes to be on par with the returns Osgood received in the primary.
The Westport Mayoral race has Mayor Michael Bruce trailing candidate Rob Bearden through the primary but both will advance into the November election. Bearden won the primary with a close to 40% margin over the incumbent Bruce.
One of the most talked about races was in Montesano with plenty of behind the scenes drama between supporting camps. Incumbent Ken Estes narrowly edged out Montesano City Council member Tyler Trimble to advance into the general with the overwhelming winner Vini Samuel. A 30-vote difference between Trimble and Estes at a margin of only 2%, this one will have to wait for the certification to see who will be up against Samuel in the general election. With the percentages between Mayor Estes and council member Trimble it would be enough to beat Samuel in the general election, if Mayor Estes can get all of the Trimble voters. If the voters split between the candidates it looks like Montesano will have a new Mayor after the November vote.
Many in the city of Montesano speak of how this specific Mayor race was played out over social media with a small amount of what many may call "mudslinging" between candidates. Others speak of how the candidates ran a more aggressive campaign that tipped the voting scale. But it will come to the general election to see who will be the next mayor of Montesano.
Running for Port of Grays Harbor Commissioner position 3 Stan Pinnick and Jackie Farra advance to the general election. Pinnick grabbed 52% of the vote and Farra 35%.
Aberdeen City Council Margo Shortt and Elaine Redner will try to capture the 100 votes left over from Courtney Cook during November.
Brandi Holmes and Patricia Gardner makeup the race for position 5 of the Westport City Council.
Ballot Measures Proposition 1, a levy to partially fund for police services in Elma is passing by a margin of 63% to 37% as well as Prop. 1 in Westport for emergency services as the same for Fire District 3 is passing by a 70-30 margin. Fire District 14 is also passing with their levy for emergency and ambulance services.