If you’re an incumbent, a fire district or Daryl Romeyn, you likely felt pretty good on Wednesday morning. All had impressive showings in the Aug. 7 primary.
While fire officials can start taking down signs and cancel any plans for a November rerun election for their maintenance-and-operations levies, the real work will get started for the remaining two candidates in each race heading into the general election.
“I am humbled and excited that – even in a four-person field – a majority of Washington voters have selected me to move on to the general election campaign,” Cathy McMorris Rodgers, 5th District congresswoman, announced after pulling in 64 percent of the vote on Tuesday. The Republican incumbent has served in the House of Representatives since 2004 and will now face Rich Cowan, Democrat, who earned 35 percent.
Closer to home, organic farmer and former TV anchorman Daryl Romeyn – a Democrat, no less, -- outdistanced both Shelly O’Quinn and Rob Chase, a pair of Republicans, for the District 2 seat on the Board of Spokane County Commissioners. O’Quinn, who works for Greater Spokane Inc., was endorsed by the current commissioner, Mark Richard, who is stepping down after two terms.
Still, Romeyn – who challenged and lost to McMorris Rodgers in 2010 – will have his work cut out for him. With Tea Party favorite Chase, the current county treasurer, eliminated with 23 percent of the vote, those who cast ballots for him will likely throw their support behind O’Quinn, who earned nearly 35 percent, in November.
Two-term incumbent Republican county Commissioner Todd Mielke outdistanced challenger, and former commissioner, John Roskelley in District 1. Mielke had just over 55 percent of the vote on Tuesday, but the real test will be in the general election to decide the final outcome.
In the commissioner races, only those voters living within the districts voted in the primary. The elections will be countywide on Nov. 6.
In the 4th District, incumbent Republican Rep. Matt Shea got a chance to see how he stacks up against Democratic challenger Amy Biviano, as both candidates will automatically move on to the general election. Shea earned just over 57 percent of the vote, so Biviano will have to gain some ground in coming weeks in order to replace him.
Locally, Spokane County voters favored incumbent Sen. Maria Cantwell, Democrat, over Republican challenger Michael Baumgartner, who earned 41 percent of the vote to Cantwell’s 47.5. The rest of the votes were dispersed among six other contenders who are now eliminated.
Also in Spokane County, voters largely favored Republican Rob McKenna over Democrat Jay Inslee. However, Inslee had a 47 percent to 43 percent lead over McKenna across the state as of Tuesday.
Spokane Valley Fire Department officials expressed some nervousness going into the election, as the three-year replacement M&O levy represents about 53 percent of its budget. But, despite not being able to formally present information before the Spokane Valley City Council, there appears to have been no need to worry as the measure passed by 67 percent – well over the 60-percent supermajority needed – and an over 6,000-vote margin.
The levy will raise $1.70 per $1,000 in assessed valuation in 2013.
In Fire District 9, which serves the area north of Spokane Valley, a levy request for $1.73 per $1,000 for next year passed by 68 percent.