WALLA WALLA -- Mike Fredrickson won a second term on the Port of Walla Walla Commission with a victory Tuesday in an automatic recount.
The final count gave Fredrickson 6,884 votes over challenger Barlow Corkrum's 6,830, according to results posted by the Walla Walla County Elections Department after the daylong recount.
"I'm relieved and looking forward to serving the next six years," Fredrickson said.
His District 2 seat represents the eastern third of the city of Walla Walla and the Dixie, Waitsburg and Prescott areas.
Though results are not final until certified, the process brings closure to what became an intense race.
In an email statement this morning, Corkrum said Port commissioners are making steps toward openness for their meetings in 2012. Transparency had been one of his chief criticisms of the economic development agency throughout his campaign. More specifically he was critical that the Port did not tape minutes, that work sessions were held during meals at local restaurants and that the agency's meetings lasted too long for the average citizen to participate.
"I would like to thank all our supporters and voters whose efforts have created significant policy changes for the better at the Port of Walla Walla," Corkrum said in his statement.
"Port leadership has already decided to tape record their meetings, stopped holding public meetings in restaurants and has promised to keep meetings to under three hours. These are good steps toward governmental accountability and transparency that taxpayers deserve. Port leadership knows now that people are paying attention and expect leaders we can trust and respect. As a result, we all came out winners in this race."
Tuesday's recount began around 9:30 a.m. in the Elections Office on Poplar Street. Two metal carts holding the tabulators were cordoned off from a viewing section in the room at the county office. Elections staff spent the day feeding verified ballots into the machines, stopping on ballots that were blank, wrinkled or illegible to address each challenge individually. Two people sat at a nearby table to help create duplicate ballots as needed. After a lunch break the process continued late into the afternoon before results were posted Tuesday evening.
Alasdair Stewart contributed to this report. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8321.