After the first run of ballots from the 2014 Primary Election, it appears that Jim Misner may be out of a job as Cowlitz County Commissioner. In the initial run from Cowlitz County Elections, Misner is running third in the four-way primary race. Joe Gardner of Toutle is in first place, with 27.74% of the total at this time. Mark Smith is second with 26.93%, Misner is third with 23.17%, and Mike Kayser is fourth with 22.16%. Out of 5,659 votes cast, only 46 votes separate Gardner and Smith, while Misner is more than 200 votes behind the front-runners.
A couple of other incumbents also got strong runs from challengers in the Primary, setting up competitive campaigns for the November General Election. Challenger Ryan Jurvakainen received more than 49% of the initial ballot run for Cowlitz County Prosecuting Attorney, trailing the incumbent Sue Baur by only 175 votes. Deputy Darren Ullman trails his boss, Sheriff Mark Nelson by just less than 13 percentage points, and just less than 1,800 votes.
Both levies that were on the ballot appear to be passing easily. The Castle Rock Library Levy has more than 66% approval at this time, while 87% of the voters in EMS District 1 approve of the excess levy that was on the ballot. Elections officials say that about 3,000 votes remain to be counted, county-wide.
The Tea Party challenge against Third District Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler fell completely flat, as the Republican primary challenger, Michael Delavar, came in a distant third place, and will not advance to the General Election. District-wide, Beutler received 48.37% of the vote. Democrat Bob Dingethal was second with 38.76%, while Delevar received only 12.87% of last night’s tally.