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County voters lean toward Republican candidates

Of the votes counted county-wide in Tuesday's election, more than 62.9 percent were cast for Republican candidates.

Incumbent Yakima County Commissioner Ron Gamache of Toppenish emerged victorious in Tuesday's primary election after beating out fellow Republican Judy Boekholder, also of Toppenish.

Gamache, who collected 43.6 percent of Tuesday's Republican ballots, narrowly pushed ahead of Boekholder, who also sought the district #2 commissioner seat.

Boekholder collected 816 votes to Gamache's 1,087 votes in Tuesday's election in early returns.

Gamache will now face Yakima Mayor Paul George, a Democrat, who beat out fellow Democrat Wylie G. Mills with a vote of 1,439 to 501, winning the right to challenge Gamache.

Yakima County Commission District #1 candidate Mike Leita beat out two fellow Republicans, Peter Dell and W. Frank Hendrix, while collecting 45.5 percent of the Yakima County votes cast for Republican candidates in Tuesday's election. Leita will face Democrat Earl S. Lee, who ran unopposed in the primary election.

In the race to see which Yakima County attorney will replace Judge Heather Van Nuys on the Superior Court bench, Blaine George Gibson will face Chris Tait in November in the non-partisan race. Gibson collected 6,209 votes in Tuesday's election while Tait received 5,417 votes. Scott Bruns, who also sought the judgeship, received 3,478 votes.

In congressional races, incumbent Congressman Doc Hastings (R) will face Sandy Matheson, a Tri-Cities Democrat in November's election. In Yakima County, voters gave Hastings 9,401 votes while Matheson received 3,380 votes for 56.3 percent of the Democratic vote. She beat out Richard K. Wright and Craig Mason to advance to the general election.

Valley legislators Bruce Chandler of Granger, who ran unopposed, and Dan Newhouse of Sunnyside each advance to the general election following yesterday's election. Newhouse, who earned 2,371 Yakima County votes, will face Democrat Michael H. Kepcha, who collected 1,482 votes in Yakima County.

In the state governor's race, state Attorney General Christine Gregoire (D) will face Republican Dino Rossi in the general election.

Gregoire beat out her nearest opponent, Ron Sims, to advance. Rossi faced two Republicans to earn the right to advance to the general election.

Yakima County voters gave Rossi 7,673 votes while county Democrats gave Gregoire 4,331 votes over the other Democratic candidates.

In the statewide race to see who will challenge U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D) in November, Spokane Congressman George R. Nethercutt Jr. (R) received his party's approval to advance. Nethercutt collected 84.1 percent of the Yakima County Republican votes while Murray garnered 6,048 of her party's votes in Yakima County.

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