Jerry Farmer’s lead over Bob Jones in the Port of Olympia District 3 primary race has increased after an updated ballot count was released Wednesday afternoon by the Thurston County Auditor’s Office.
Farmer’s lead widened to five percent over Jones, with Farmer capturing 27 percent of the vote, compared with 22 percent for Jones. On Tuesday night, the difference was about two percent.
“I feel very confident going into the countywide race,” Farmer said Wednesday. “My message is a positive one. It’s a message of creating jobs.”
Farmer, 62, sales manager and co-owner of KRXY 94.5 FM, said that he and Jones have agreed to support each other, depending on the final outcome of Tuesday’s primary.
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The primary results are set to be certified Aug. 18.
Jones, 68, a retired Army officer and veterans advocate, confirmed Wednesday that he and Farmer have had that conversation.
“We have agreed to mutually support each other at the appropriate time,” Jones said.
Meanwhile, the top vote-getter in the District 3 race is E.J. Zita, 55, a longtime professor of physics and renewable energy at The Evergreen State College. As of Wednesday, Zita had captured 44.4 percent of the vote.
“I feel great,” she said Wednesday. “This is a real indication that voters want change at the Port of Olympia, and they want it to be held to higher standards of accountability and transparency. They want to see the port do better.”
Another name, Larry Goodman, also was on the District 3 ballot, but Goodman announced toward the end of June that he was withdrawing from the race due to concerns about his health.The ballots had already been printed when he withdrew.
As of Wednesday, Goodman had picked up 680 votes, or six percent of the vote, likely hurting Jones’ chances of advancing to the general election.
After working in and around the Army for 40 years, Jones said he has learned what he called a “truism” about human nature.
“Ten percent of the people never get the word,” he said.
In the District 1 port race between incumbent George Barner, 73, senior financial examiner Joe Downing, 61, and executive chef Joseph Treacy Kreger, 57, the results hadn’t changed that much from Tuesday night.
Downing, the top vote-getter, and Barner were advancing to the general election, while Kreger was out of the picture with 19.5 percent of the vote.