Thousands more votes have been tallied since Election Day, but two local races are still too close to call, according to a ballot count released at 6 p.m. Wednesday by the Thurston County Auditor’s Office.
In Thurston County Commissioner District No. 1, Olympia City Council member Jim Cooper was unable to hold a slight Election Night lead over former Tenino Police Chief John Hutchings.
Cooper, a Democrat, had 48.67 percent, or 45,441 ballots, and Hutchings, an independent, had 51.33 percent, or 47,928 ballots, after Wednesday’s count.
The winner will replace retiring county commissioner Cathy Wolfe. The district runs through the central portion of the county and includes Tenino, rural Rainier, Olympia and Johnson Point.
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In the commission’s District No. 2 race, retired Sheriff Gary Edwards widened an early lead over Democrat Kelsey Hulse in Wednesday’s count, amassing 53.71 percent, or 51,226 votes. Hulse had 46.29 percent, or 44,145 votes, in the latest count. Late Tuesday, Hulse said she wanted to wait for later ballot counts, but Edwards declared victory in his quest to replace retiring commissioner Sandra Romero.
In the race for Thurston County Superior Court Position 1, Chris Lanese has about 50.86 percent of the vote — a 1,505 vote lead over Laura Murphy, who has about 49.14 percent of the vote.
The winner will take the seat held by Judge Chris Wickham.
Thurston County had a 59.9 percent voter turnout and workers have so far counted 104,863 ballots, according to the Auditor’s Office. An estimated 9,500 ballots still need to be counted.
The next ballot count is scheduled to be released at 6 p.m. Thursday, and the election is scheduled to be certified Nov. 29.