The Port of Olympia District 2 commission race between challenger Bill Fishburn and incumbent Bill McGregor is looking more and more like the 2015 port race between E.J. Zita – the eventual winner of the District 3 seat — and candidate Jerry Farmer.
Why? The race between Zita and Farmer resulted in a recount, and now it appears the same might happen to Fishburn vs. McGregor. Since election night, Fishburn has closed the gap on McGregor. The two are separated by about 900 votes. McGregor has 50.9 percent of the vote to Fishburn’s 49.1 percent, or a difference of about 2 percent.
Eight-hundred ballots are set to be counted Monday, Thurston County Auditor Mary Hall said Sunday. In addition, there also are 459 challenged ballots, in which the voter either forgot to sign the voter declaration, or there’s some issue with their signature, she said.
Here’s what has to happen to trigger a machine or hand recount, according to the Thurston County Auditor’s Office website.
▪ Machine recount: The candidates are separated by less than 2,000 votes and less than one-half of 1 percent, or .005 percent. Both must happen.
▪ Hand recount: The candidates are separated by less than 150 votes and less than one-quarter of 1 percent, or .0025 percent. Both must happen.
The next ballot count is set for 6 p.m. Monday. If a recount is required, it would take place the week after the election is certified Nov. 28, Hall said.
Fishburn is a former longtime Intel employee and small businessman who lives in Rainier, while McGregor, now retired, is a Coast Guard veteran and former longtime Port of Tacoma and Port of Olympia and Port of Grays Harbor employee.