Challenger leads incumbent as both move on in hospital race

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DAYTON -- Columbia County Public Hospital District commissioner race results show challenger Colleen Sproul outdistancing incumbent Blaine Bickelhaupt by a 43-vote margin, 530-487. Challenger Garry Snyder was a distant third, with 268 votes in Tuesday's primary election.

The district encompasses all of Columbia County and the portion of Walla Walla County within the boundaries of the Waitsburg School District. Bickelhaupt fared better there, with 129 votes, or 60 percent of votes cast. In Columbia County, he received 358, or 33 percent, for a combined total of 487, or 38 percent.

Sproul received 479, or 45 percent in Columbia County and 51 votes, or 24 percent in Walla Walla County, for a combined total of 530 votes, or 41 percent.

Snyder receied 232 votes in Columbia County, or 22 percent, and 36 votes, or 17 percent in Walla Walla County, for a combined total of 268 votes, or 21 percent.

Voter turnout in Columbia County was nearly 42 percent, with 1,083 of 2,590 registered voters returning ballots. Of the total cast, 11 were write-in votes and three ballots were over-votes, according to the auditor's office.

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