Democrat Steve Drew likely is Thurston County’s new assessor, capturing slightly more than 51 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s general election. Republican Glen Morgan followed with 48.74 percent of the vote out of more than 69,000 votes cast.
Drew said he was confident the results would hold and that he was elated.
“I ran a positive campaign, I learned a lot from the voters and I’m going to take those things I learned doorbelling across the county and take that into the office to benefit me as assessor,” he said.
Drew said he thinks his plan of improving customer service at the policy level resonated with voters.
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Up next is to “gracefully close” his property claims adjuster business and tend to his clients at least part time through the end of the year, he said.
“I have a lot of learning to do,” Drew said. “I’m going to schedule meetings and do an awful lot of listening.”
Morgan said his biggest challenge was running as a Republican in Thurston County, typically a Democratic stronghold. “Drew ran a good race as well,” he said. “It has been a tough race for basically an open seat.”
Drew called Morgan a decent man and said he did not wish him any ill will.
It was outsiders versus insiders during the primary, but business consultant Morgan and Drew leapfrogged the two other candidates who already worked in the county Assessor’s Office to face each other in the general election.
Chief Deputy Assessor Dennis Pulsipher and longtime commercial and industrial appraiser Jeff Gadman ran for assessor during the primary. Morgan captured more than 44 percent of the vote in the primary, followed by Drew with 22.32 percent of the vote.
The assessor’s job pays $105,000 annually.
Morgan, 39, and Drew, 50, campaigned along similar lines. Both said they would strive to improve customer service, that property valuations would be accurate and that they would address a backlog of property tax appeals.
Rolf Boone: email@example.com/bizblog