Greenwood, Romine advance in Walla Walla coroner's race

A write-in bid by incumbent Coroner Frank Brown has apparently fallen short of advancing to November.

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WALLA WALLA -- Three of the five candidates running for Walla Walla County coroner appear to have been knocked out of the race as of today.

According to preliminary results, Richard Greenwood and Virginia Romine were the top two finishers in Tuesday's primary election. Returns posted by the county Auditors Office show Greenwood received 3,548 votes, or about 33 percent of the total, and Romine garnered 2,396 votes, or about 23 percent of the total.

Of the two remaining candidates on the ballot, Jim Schmerer received 2,047 votes, or about 19 percent of the total, and Ken Hall received 1,104, or about 10 percent.

Greenwood and Romine have stated their party preference as Republican.

A write-in campaign by incumbent Coroner Frank Brown also apparently came up short, but exact numbers will not be known until next week when election workers tally those ballots, said Debbie Benavides, election supervisor. As of Tuesday night, 1,542 write-in votes had been received, about 15 percent of the total.

"We'll have to hand-count the write-in ballots next week to find out how many are for Frank Brown and how many are for Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck," Benavides said, referring to voters who, in every election, write in fictitious or other names on ballots.

As of Tuesday night, 11,829 ballots had been tabulated, but more will arrive today as ballots that were mailed in time to be postmarked with Tuesday's date arrive at the auditors office. The next count will be done Friday.

According to the preliminary figures, turnout in the county was 39 percent of the 30,352 registered voters. The election results will be certified on Sept. 1, Benavides said.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318. Check out his blog at blogs.ublabs.org/randomthoughts.

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