Tuesday’s primary election narrowed several crowded races down to the top two vote getters and provided a mid-campaign poll for races with only two candidates as they head toward the general election in November.
The campaign results most politicos are talking about is the surprisingly strong turnout for political newcomer Mary Robnett in her bid to unseat eight-year incumbent Mark Lindquist in the race to be the next Pierce County Prosecutor.
Robnett, a former deputy prosecutor in the office she now wants to lead, topped Lindquist’s vote tally by some 10 percent, garnering 55 percent, or 52,404 votes, to Lindquist’s 45 percent, or 42,830 in ballot totals at press time. The results were surprising since Lindquist was a virtual shoo-in a year ago, with a deep campaign war chest and no challenger in sight.
Robnett has since steadily gathered endorsements and campaign donations as well as built momentum behind her campaign that focuses on the controversies and complaints levied against Lindquist involving text messages he wrongfully withheld when they were requested under the state’s public disclosure laws and claims of politicizing the prosecutor’s office.
Her strong showing suggests a heated battle for the position of the county’s top attorney is ahead as summer turns to fall.
The only other county-wide race during the upcoming election is that for Pierce County Auditor, with incumbent Julie Anderson running unopposed to serve a third term before the Democrat is term limited out of office. Because the race lacked a challenger, Anderson’s name didn’t appear on the primary ballot.
In other local races:
Democrat Lorra Jackson moves on to the general election for the County Council District No. 1 seat, with 39 percent of the vote. Her challenger will be Dave Morell, with 30 percent of the vote. Also rans, Sharon Hanek and Milton Tremblay both received about 15 percent of the vote each.
The Council District No. 5, which includes parts of East and South Tacoma, has Democrat Marty Campbell at 39 percent against Republican Justin Van Dyk’s 37 percent, trailed by Democrat Suzanne Skaar at 24 percent.
Democrat incumbent Derek posted a strong showing to retain his seat, with 62 percent of the vote to Republican challenger David Olson’s 38 percent for the Council’s District No. 7 post.
Expected turn out is 28 to 30 percent of the 492, 187 registered voters in the county, a bump from previous off year elections because mail-in ballots now include pre-paid postage.
Election updates on mailed ballots will continue through the month, with the election certification set for Aug. 21.
The top two vote-getting candidates, regardless of their party affiliation, will move on to the general election on Nov. 6. Each candidate for partisan office may state a political party that he or she prefers, but that statement does not constitute a statement that the candidate is nominated or endorsed by the party, or that the party approves of or associates with that candidate. The top-two system has been used in races around the state since 2008.
The latest election results and the ballot counts for federal, state and judicial races are available at PierceCountyElections.org. Campaign information about candidate funders and expenditures are available at the state’s Public Disclosure Commission website. www.pdc.wa.gov.