Outcomes steady as Walla Walla, Columbia and Garfield votes finalized

As the election goes in the books for good, the results hold up throughout the area.

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Election officials in Walla Walla, Columbia and Garfield counties certified the results of November's general election Tuesday. Final tallies showed no changes in any of the local races.

The Nov. 2 election also generated high turnouts at the polls, both locally and statewide. Washington state had a 71 percent turnout, which was "the best showing in decades for a midterm election," said Secretary of State Sam Reed.

The results for the hotly-contested Walla Walla County Sheriff's Office race remained fixed with John Turner holding 10,692 votes, or about 54 percent, against Bill White, who had 8,936 votes or 46 percent. In the race for county coroner,

In the race for Walla Walla County Coroner, Richard Greenwood finished with 9,951 votes, or 55 percent, against Virginia Romine, who received 8,064 votes, or 45 percent.

In the race for part-time District Court judge, Kristian Hedine finished with 10,167 votes, or 58 percent, against Bridie M. Hood, who received 7,414 votes, or 42 percent.

The only contested race for state office was for the District 16 position 1 state representative seat. That was won by incumbent candidate Maureen Walsh, who received 33,793 votes, or about 78 percent. Her challenger, Brenda High, received 9,736 votes, or about 22 percent. District 16 consists of Walla Walla and Columbia counties and portions of Benton and Franklin counties.

In the only race in Garfield County, incumbent treasurer Karen Roosevelt finished with 721 votes, or 61 percent of the total, while challenger Lynette Fischer had 458 votes, or 39 percent.

Columbia County Commission incumbent Chuck Reeves retained his 59 percent lead, with challenger Charles Amerein receiving 41 percent. The vote count was 1,211 for Reeves and 826 for Amerein.

Incumbent prosecuting attorney Rea Culwell maintained her 53 percent lead over challenger Randy Lewis, who had 47 per cent. Culwell received 1,129 votes in the final count to Lewis' 995.

In the Columbia County Sheriff's race, challenger Mark Franklin picked up a percentage point with 37 percent to winner Walt Hessler's 63 percent. Final count was 1,348 for Hessler to 784 for Franklin.

The Prescott Park and Recreation District $100,000 one-year maintenance and operation levy maintained a passing percentage, although the winning margin narrowed to 65 percent from the Nov. 2 count of 67 percent. Final count is 203 yes, or 65 percent to 109 no, or 35 percent.

Columbia County voters held their state-wide lead in voter turnout, with 85 percent of registered voters submitting ballots. Other counties passing the 80 percent mark were Jefferson and San Juan counties.

Garfield County's final turnout was 79 percent, and Walla Walla County had 72 percent turnout.

In a release, Reed said he was delighted that voters proved him wrong in predicting a 66 percent turnout for the midterm elections. "Even 66 percent would have been the best turnout in 40 years," he said in a release.

Carrie Chicken can be reached at cec@innw.net or 522-5289. 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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