Wernette concedes in judge race

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— The trailing candidate in the Walla Walla County Superior Court race today conceded defeat after the latest results were posted by the county Auditor’s Office.

“I congratulate (Scott) Wolfram and wish him well in his service as a Superior Court judge,” Richard Wernette said in an email this morning.

Wolfram has held a decisive lead in the race since the release of Tuesday’s primary election results and the latest count posted Thursday showed little change. According to the Auditor’s Office, Wolfram now has about 55 percent of the vote to Wernette’s 45 percent. The latest vote totals are now 5,212 for Wolfram and 4,293 for Wernette.

The winner of the judicial election, which will be certified Aug. 21, will replace retiring Judge Donald W. Schacht on Jan. 14.

In his email, Wernette said he appreciated “all of my supporters’ votes and their hard work on my behalf.” He also expressed his “heartfelt appreciation to my wife Debbie and my family for their love, support and encouragement,” during his campaign and thanked Schacht “for your years of dedicated public service.”

According to the county Auditor’s Office, 10,669 ballots have been counted so far and an estimated 3,554 remain to be tallied. The next vote count will be on Monday.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318.

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