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Rossi still trailing Murray as Doc, Yakima county incumbents retain office

Yakima County voters followed a national trend last night, Tuesday, towards supporting Republican candidates in yesterday's General Election.

While he trails statewide by less than one percentage point - 50.49 to 49.51 percent - Republican challenger Dino Rossi's bid to upset Sen. Patty Murray received support in Yakima County to the tune of 64.18 to 35.06 percent.

The Secretary of State's office reported there are more than 500,000 ballots still to count statewide, so the Rossi/Murray race remains too close to call. Only about a third of the ballots to be counted are from King and Pierce counties, usual strongholds for Murray.

Congressman Doc Hastings, who represents an area that includes Yakima County, won handily over Democratic challenger Jay Clough by a margin of 68.31 to 31.69 percent.

"Nationally, this election was a verdict on the Obama-Pelosi agenda," Hastings said of results that restored Republicans back to power in the House of Representatives. "Voters across the country rejected the liberal, big spending, government takeover direction that Democrats have been pushing the past two years over the objections of the American people.

In local legislative races that impact the Lower Valley, Sen. Jim Honeyford was unchallenged and won re-election with 100 percent of the vote.

State representatives Bruce Chandler and David Taylor easily won re-election over their Democratic challengers by claiming nearly two-thirds of the vote in both contests.

"Overall I'm very pleased the voters have given me another two years, I look forward to serving them the best I can," Taylor said.

County Commisisoner Rand Elliott serves an area that includes the Lower Valley, and he handily won re-election 64.49 to 34.59 percent over Tea Party candidate Kenneth Stevens.

"I'm very pleased with the results, I'm happy the voters have the confidence to return me to office," Elliott said, noting budget and labor issues will be the top priorities facing commissioners.

The only exception to the Republican trend in Yakima County voting was in the Auditor's race, where incumbent Corky Mattingly won re-election over challenger Mark Peterson, 53.16 to 46.7 percent.

Voters also opted for other county incumbents, as County Clerk Kim Eaton was re-elected by 62.57 percent to 36.33 percent over Janelle Riddle.

Sheriff Ken Irwin was also re-elected 72.87 to 25.76 percent over write-in challenger Kelly Rosenow.

Coroner Jack Hawkins, Assessor Dave Cook and Treasurer Ilene Thompson all ran unopposed.

Voters selected Kevin M. Roy, Brian Sanderson, Donald W. Engel and Doug Federspiel to the Yakima County District Court.

There are approximately 18,000 votes still to be counted in Yakima County, with the next count scheduled for this afternoon.

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