Two upper valley mayors, one current and one former, will battle for Yakima County’s auditor seat on the Nov. 4 General Election ballot.
In early results from the Primary vote last night, Tuesday, former Naches mayor and current 14th District state legislator Charles Ross garnered 8,409 votes (40 percent) and current Yakima mayor Micah Cawley received 7,226 votes (34 percent).
The other two candidates, Earl Hall and Kyle Freeborn, earned 3,347 and 1,722 votes, respectively.
“I think being known is helpful for a good showing,” Cawley says of the name recognition for both he and Ross.
Looking to November, Cawley says his focus will be improving voter outreach. “It’s so important, people need a reason to vote,” he says of the auditor’s task of heading up elections.
Ross also noted the auditor’s role in the election process. Like Cawley, he’d like to see the county have a better turnout.
At the same time, Ross is pleased with the way the office is being handled by current auditor Corky Holloway.
“If elected, I’m very excited to uphold the work Corky has done,” he said.
As of last night’s tabulation, 20 percent of registered voters in Yakima County participated in the Primary. The statewide average was 23 percent.
There were other contests on last night’s ballot involving two candidates. Those votes were tabulated, but those races won’t be decided until the General Election.
Those non-binding Primary contests saw incumbent Jim Honeyford (R) easily outdistance challenger Gabriel Munoz (D) in the 15th District state Senate race by a 3-to-1 margin.
State Rep. David Taylor (R) likewise garnered a 3-to-1 edge over 15th District challenger Teodora Martinez-Chavez (D) in last night’s initial tally.
The auditor’s office will update the tally at 4 p.m. each week day until the Primary Election results are certified on Tuesday, Aug. 19.