The Thurston County Auditor’s Office finalized local election results Tuesday, cementing a winner for a close Thurston County Superior Court race.
Chris Lanese narrowly won the race for the court’s position 1 by a margin of 1,210 votes. He had 50.54 percent of votes, while opponent Laura Murphy had 49.46 percent.
County Auditor Mary Hall said that while the margin is narrow, it’s not close enough to necessitate a recount.
Lanese said Tuesday that he was humbled by the support he received from voters.
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“The campaign was a rewarding and enriching experience,” Lanese said. “I am grateful to have this opportunity to serve our community in a new role, and am excited to get to work in January.”
Nearly 78 percent of Thurston County’s voters cast ballots this year, Hall said, which was a little low for a presidential election year. She compared numbers to the 2008 presidential election, in which turnout was a few percentage points higher.
“I think a lot of people just weren’t happy with either (presidential) candidate,” Hall said.
But the trend wasn’t unique to Thurston County. Many other counties reported lower-than-expected turnout.
Despite the slightly lower turnout, elections staff had to work hard to get ballots counted by the certification deadline. Hall said that more than 1,000 people came in to get ballots on Election Day.
“I think staff worked really hard, they did a great job getting through the election,” Hall said.
The county elected two new commissioners this year. John “Hutch” Hutchings beat Jim Cooper with about 52 percent of the vote, and Gary Edwards defeated Kelsey Hulse with about 54 percent of the vote.
Hutchings is listed as an independent. Edwards states no party preference. Cooper and Hulse are both Democrats.
In a second Thurston County Superior Court race, John Skinder defeated Jim Foley with nearly 55 percent of the vote.
Tumwater narrowly approved a fireworks ban with about 50.35 percent of votes, a less than 100-vote margin. Olympia struck down an income tax initiative with about 52.2 percent of votes.
For final vote tallies, see results.vote.wa.gov/results/20161108/thurston/