All of Cowlitz County's ballots are in, and there's more to count than election officials had anticipated.
Voter turnout for the Aug. 7 primary election was 40.2 percent. County Auditor Carolyn Fundingsland had said prior to the election that turnout was on track to reach the average 30 to 33 percent typically seen for mid term elections. A total 25,593 ballots have counted. There are 63,688 registered voters in Cowlitz County. However, it is still too early to tell if the better than average turnout for the primary election will herald a strong turnout in November.
Republican incumbent Jaime Herrera Beutler came out ahead of Democratic challenger Carolyn Long in the race for the District 3 U.S. Representative seat. Herrera Beutler received 42 percent of the vote and Long received 35 percent, promising a closely-contested race for the general election.
In the contest for Cowlitz County Sheriff, incumbent Mark Nelson received 848 more votes than his Republican challenger, Brad Thurman. Both candidates will move on to the general election. Incumbent Kurt Anagnostou has been voted out of his Cowlitz County PUD commissioner seat. Tuesday night's numbers showed former PUD commissioner Ned Piper leading in the primary, but was still too close to call until more ballots are counted.
Duane Dalgleish came in second, beating Anagnostou by 321 votes, and will go head-to-head against Piper in the November General Election.
Piper was a longtime member of the PUD board who stepped down two years ago.