Voters giving second term to Rita Luce

TUMWATER - School board member Rita Luce was leading challenger Bill Proffitt in early election returns Tuesday night, in the sole school board race in the Thurston County school districts.

Luce was cautious about declaring victory in the race for Position 1, citing news reports about voters waiting until the last minute.

“I really don’t consider it a win until all the votes are in,” she said.

Luce, owner of Rita’s Loose Curls, a beauty salon, was a long time volunteer in the Tumwater School District before being elected in 2005.

“I really wanted to feel like I was elected on the four years that I’ve done,” she said.

Challenger Proffitt is an Army veteran and a system engineer who has been looking for a job since a medical condition forced him to leave work in 2007.

“I do appreciate everyone that did vote for me. It just shows that America’s still alive; we still have a choice.”

The other two Tumwater board members up for election, Bob Barclift in District 4 and Janine Ward in District 5, were unchallenged.

All eight Thurston County districts had board seats that were up for election, but nearly all drew one candidate. A few Thurston County voters are in the Centralia School District, where longtime board member Ron Brumbaugh led challenger Michael J. Kelly.

In Rainier, the sole candidate for position 4, Nicole Maley, withdrew her name. Incumbent school board member Pat Barrett, who did not file to run for re-election, automatically will get a two-year renewal in his seat.