Coroner race too close to call

— There were only a few surprises in the Yakima County elections this past Tuesday, but by Thursday, the race between Coroner Jack B. Hawkins, and his challenger James “Jim” Curtice was beginning to widen with Curtice moving solidly ahead.

Curtice’s lead improved Thursday to 50.23 percent with 16,456 votes, while Hawkins’ dropped to 48.77 percent with 15,978 votes.

The latest count of ballots, as of Thursday afternoon show that are in Yakima County, Initiative 1631 has failed, and Initiatives 1634 passed while 1639 and 940 failed. Statewide, 1634, 1639 and 940 all passed.

More than 1 million voters statewide decided they were opposed to an energy tax. Proponents advertised it as a tax against major polluters, but opponents said it was flawed and would have cost families, consumers, small businesses and family farmers.

On election night, the measure was opposed statewide by more than 56 percent of the vote. Yakima County voters cast nearly 74 percent of their ballots against it.

Initiative 1634 proponents were pleased with its passage.

“The cost of living is already high enough for people living paycheck to paycheck,” the YES! To Affordable Groceries Coalition said.

Nearly 55 percent of the state’s voters approved the measure, and almost 71 percent of Yakima County voters aligned with the state.

The Alliance for Gun Responsibility supported Initiative 1639, which will prohibit young adults from purchasing semi-automatic rifles and require gun owners to lock up firearms, and the passage of Initiative 940 requires law enforcement officers to participate in enhanced de-escalation, first aid and mental health crisis training.

In the federal races, incumbent Maria Cantwell (D) received nearly 60 percent of the votes, but in Yakima County, she received just more than 37 percent.

Her challenger, Susan Hutchinson (R), had 62.48 percent of the votes from the county, but 40.52 statewide.

Sunnyside’s Dan Newhouse (R) retains his position as Congressional District 4 Representative with more than 65 percent of the ballots in his favor statewide and improved to 63 percent in the county.

He said, “Representing the people of Central Washington is the most rewarding job I have held. I am honored by tonight’s results and the confidence that the people of the fourth district have place in me to continue working for them.”

Opponent Christine Brown (D) received 36.91 percent of the county votes, 34.6 percent statewide.

Brown acknowledge her loss, saying she called to congratulate Newhouse on Tuesday night.

“I am so grateful to all of you and to all the volunteers and supporters up and down this sprawling district who created this amazing campaign,” she said.

The local legislative district 15 Senate race saw incumbent Jim Honeyford -R-Sunnyside increase his lead, while Democratic challenger Bengie Aguilar of Sunnyside also improved her position with Honeyford still in the claiming 11,105 of votes to Aguilar’s 5,978,or 34.01 percent of the ballots.

Grandview Mayor Norm Childress looks all set to claim the Yakima County commissioner’s District 3 seat with 64.04 percent of the ballots in his favor to opponent Susan Soto palmers. 35.82 percent of the ballots.

The ballots will be certified as of Nov 27.



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