Local attorney Erik Price still led the field with 34.01 percent of the vote, according Wednesday night’s unofficial election results from the Auditor’s Office. Superior Court Commissioner Indu Thomas was in second, with 33.61. Local attorney Allen Miller was third, with 32.06 percent.
There still are votes to count, Thurston County election officials said Wednesday. Election results will be certified Aug. 23. The next round of ballot counting is set for 6 p.m. today.
In Superior Court judicial races, the top two vote-getters in the primary move on to the general election, unless a candidate wins with 50 percent or more of the vote. If that happens, a candidate is declared the winner.
Thomas led by Miller by 160 votes Tuesday, a number that increased to 592 votes Wednesday.
“I do think it’s still awfully close; it’s still too close to call.” Thomas said Wednesday. Miller agreed.
If Thomas’ lead holds, she and Price will square off Nov. 6.
The picture in the contested Position 2 Superior Court judge race was a bit clearer Wednesday, with Superior Court Commissioner Christine Schaller holding a commanding lead over her three competitors, with 48.3 percent of the vote. Assistant Attorney General Jim Johnson was in second with 22.3 percent, and Assistant Attorney General Marie Clarke was third, with 17.5 percent. Assistant Attorney General Victor Minjares was fourth, with 11.7 percent.
If Johnson’s lead holds, he and Schaller will be on the November ballot. Johnson and local attorney Vicki Lee Parker have said they will file a petition requesting that Schaller’s name be removed from the ballot because she lives in Pierce County. A state law requires candidates to live in the county in which they wish to serve, but Schaller’s attorney has said that the state constitution has no residency requirement for Superior Court judges.
Schaller was born in Olympia and has said she moved to Pierce County as a “commuting compromise” with her husband, who works in Seattle. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office stated that it would not oppose Schaller’s candidacy, and in doing so, cited a 1986 opinion written by its office stating that the state constitution has no residency requirement for Superior Court judges. Schaller said Tuesday night she will fight any petition to remove her name from the ballot.
“I have been confident all along that I am correct on the law, and if I was not, I never would have ran in the first place,” she said.