Four council candidates go on to general election and school levy passes

Christine Minney, Ryan Palmateer, Rick Hughes and Cindy Wolf are the four candidates for San Juan County Council who will move on to November’s General Election. The Lopez Island School District Technology and Capital Projects Levy was also approved by voters.

Of the 13,727 registered voters in San Juan County, 9,200 ballots have been counted and an estimated 100 ballots remain as of Aug. 11. The next count is 5 p.m., Aug. 14. The voter turnout is estimated to be 67.03 percent.

San Juan County Council District 1

Minney has the most votes with 3,057 votes or 38.1 percent, with Palmateer coming in second with 2,576 votes or 32.11 percent. The other candidates running for the open seat are Sharon Kivisto who has 1,411 votes, or 17.59 percent; Steve Wehrly with 495 votes, or 6.17 percent; and Daniel Miller with 484 votes, or 6.03 percent.

Minney had the following to say about the primary election:

“I’d like to thank every voter who participated in the primary election this week. I’d also like to extend my thanks and appreciation to all of the candidates who stood up and chose to run for office. Lastly, I am honored by and grateful to my enthusiastic supporters.

“The challenges before us are not unique to the islands: the effect of COVID on our economy and keeping us whole, protecting our environment, and addressing affordable housing are examples. But the solutions that work for us, as Islanders, will be unique to our community. We will navigate a path to the solutions by working together every day.

“As a mom, business owner, and longtime islander, I am committed to representing our entire community. The Council is responsible for many of the ‘nuts and bolts’ of what keeps our community running, sustainable, and safe. Most of the issues the Council is faced with are not partisan issues. Our Washington should not be the partisan place filled with avoidable division that the ‘other’ Washington has become. We need to keep the Council nonpartisan and our solutions to problems must represent the community, and all of our islands in their fantastic diversity.

“It will always be my goal to achieve a balance in providing quality services that Islanders’ need and want with what we, as a County, can provide. It is the job of the county to maintain critical services that ensure the health, welfare, and long-term sustainability of all of the people who live here. I will work diligently to identify the areas that need our improvement and care.

“I will be so proud to serve on Council and will work hard to represent all Islanders. I will be accessible, and I listen well. I look forward to serving you.”

Palmateer submitted the following:

“To the voters of San Juan County, a huge thank you for your support in this week’s primary election! I have had many great conversations with many of you and it will be my distinct honor to continue those conversations going forward toward the general election in November! Please get in touch. Let me know what you think. Head on over to and click on the contact tab for various ways to reach out to me.

“My priorities as your representative to the San Juan County Council will be to work tirelessly to restore the local economy, helping to create jobs that help islanders back on their feet in the wake of the global pandemic. I will work toward innovative solutions to the affordable housing crisis and a fair and balanced approach to vacation rental permitting. These goals can, and must, be achieved in an ecologically sustainable manner that enhances the rural character of these islands. And I commit to providing fair and just governance that faithfully serves the citizens of the San Juan Islands.”

San Juan County Council District 2

Wolf received the most votes, 3,642 or 44.61 percent, with incumbent Hughes trailing by just a handful of votes with 3,442 or 42.15 percent. Also running for the open seat is Michael Durland who has 1,081 votes or 13.24 percent.

Hughes’ statement on the primary was as follows:

“Thank you for the support in the primary. I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve one final term as [the] council member from District #2 and look for your support in the General Election this November.

“We are in unprecedented times and San Juan County needs strong leadership to keep the community safe and help rebuild a more diverse economy in the future. I’m proud of and stand 100% by the county’s response to the COVID crisis. We have one of the lowest infection rates in the state and to date have avoided any community transmission.

“I’m committed to the social and environmental health of our islands. I care deeply about all islanders. I will continue to balance competing priorities. I believe in effective, thoughtful, and well-managed government, and will work to watch for and protect the interests of residents.

“I will continue to advocate strongly for our communities. I will continue to fight for social justice, equity and inclusion. I’m working on renewable energy on county buildings, securing emergency rental assistance funding and supporting access to affordable internet.

“I’m endorsed by key leaders around the state, from Representative Rick Larsen, Public Lands Commissioner Hillary Franz to Senate Transportation Chair Steve Hobbs. I have gained their support and friendship for almost eight years of dedication.

“My family has been in the islands for more than 80 years. I’m a parent and a business owner. Please continue trusting and supporting me! San Juan County is a special place, please support me for the future of the community.”

Wolf released the following statement to the Sounder:

“One step closer to positive change! Thank you to all you voters who said you’re ready for new leadership. And thank you to all my volunteers and supporters who give generously to this effort.

“San Juan County must be run in the long-term best interests of the people who live here and the environment we steward. That means prioritizing:

• Affordable Housing – How do our teachers, elder-care givers, EMTs, farmers and workers give their best efforts to our community unless they can find affordable homes?

• Rebuilding the economy – We have an educated population, a need for tradespeople, a deadline to get off fossil fuels and many retirees aging in place. We can diversify our economy. We should welcome visitors thoughtfully but should ensure that the need for their dollars is not more important than the health of our people or our environment.

• Long Term Planning – We must address renewable energy and the county’s carbon footprint, mitigating the impacts of tourism, protecting open space, and wise growth management. We can enjoy our time here and pass it to future generations without loving it to death.

“Your ideas helped shape my platform. I am ready to serve, but I need you with me. Please vote Cindy Wolf in November.”

School levy

The school’s levy passed with a total of 1,069 votes or 69.64 percent.

The school board released the following statement:

“Lopez School district is grateful to voters for their overwhelming support for the Technology Levy on the August 4 primary election ballot. With 87% of ballots counted as this goes to press, the measure has undefeatable 68.25% support.

“During the COVID19 school closure, Lopez students were well prepared to transition into virtual learning thanks to the 1:1 device initiative funded by the last technology levy. All students currently have access to their teachers’ virtual classrooms, educational technology, and online resources from home.

“The Technology and Capital Projects Levy that voters have just approved provides $275,000 per year for the next four years. The funding will keep Lopez school technology facilities up to date to meet the current and future educational needs of students and will cover salaries of technology staff at Lopez Island school, freeing up the general fund budget for essential expenses including non-tech related salaries and programs.

“Technology facilities include acquiring hardware, software licenses, and on-line applications and training related to the installation for operations and educational instruction. The new equipment and applications may be available for students, teachers and staff.

“Technology staff includes technology support for necessary function and upkeep of technology resources, training and professional development for staff regarding instructional technology, digital citizenship development for students, advisors for technology-related programs such as robotics, and any other technology-related positions for student enrichment.

“Thank you Lopez voters!”

District and statewide results

Statewide, 2,430,465 votes have been counted as of Aug. 11, which is 52.7 percent of the 4,611,807 registered voters in Washington. The results of the district and statewide primary elections are as follows with San Juan County results listed first followed by current statewide results.

United States Representative for Congressional District 2

San Juan County: Incumbent Democrat Rick Larsen is leading with 5,151 votes or 58.08 percent with Democrat Jason Call coming in second with 1,737 votes or 19.59 percent.

Districtwide: Larsen leads District 2 by 114,781 votes or 48.76 percent; Republican Timothy S. Hazelo has the second-most votes with 34,959 or 14.85 percent.

Statement from Larsen: Larsen posted to his Facebook page, “While there are still many more votes to be counted, I am humbled by tonight’s initial results. I will keep working hard to earn the support of 2nd District residents.

“It is an honor to represent the people of Northwest Washington. This fall, I am eager to continue the fight to elect Democrats up and down the ballot and defeat Trump.

“Our campaign is rooted in hard work and grassroots organizing. I am grateful for all of the supporters and volunteers who helped make today’s positive results possible.

“Together, we can expand health care access, fight climate change and protect voting rights. I will keep fighting to support working families and address the public health and economic crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic.”


San Juan County: Incumbent Democrat Jay Inslee leads with 6,468 votes or 71.65 percent, followed by Republican Loren Culp with 901 votes or 9.98 percent.

Statewide: Inslee leads the state with 1,216,679 votes or 50.54 percent with Culp coming in second with 409,093 votes or 17 percent.

Lieutenant Governor

San Juan County: Democrat Denny Heck leads with 2,568 votes or 30.92 percent followed by Democrat Mark Liias with 2,265 votes or 27.26 percent.

Statewide: Heck has 581,362 statewide votes or 25.18 percent; Liias has the second most with 430,961 or 18.66 percent.

Secretary of State

San Juan County: Democrat Gael Tarleton leads with 5,378 votes or 61.87 percent to Incumbent Republican Kim Wyman, who has 2,823 votes or 32.47 percent and has received the second-most votes.

Statewide: Wyman has the most votes statewide with 1,193,960 votes or 50.67 percent; Tarleton has the second most with 1,026,334 votes or 43.56 percent.

Statement from Wyman’s office:

Kim Wyman released the following statement about the primary election results showing her holding more than 50 percent of the vote in a four-candidate field:

“While there are still many ballots left to count, I am incredibly humbled by the support and response from voters tonight. With our state’s accessible and secure elections system, voters were able to safely cast their votes while on the verge of shattering our 2016 turnout in the process. Washington’s elections lead the rest of the country in accessibility and security and that is what I will be celebrating tonight.”

These results come after months of Wyman’s leadership in continuing Washington’s safe, secure, and accurate elections during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the assistance she has offered other states.

National media has recognized Wyman’s work. The LA Times noted recently, “Wyman, known nationally as an expert on mail voting, became a go-to resource for election officials scrambling to adapt. … As the pandemic rages on and some in her party attack mail voting, Wyman has become a vocal supporter of the system in interviews, opinion pieces and as co-chair of the circle of advisors for the National Vote at Home Institute.”

State Treasurer

San Juan County: Democrat Mike Pelliccioti leads with 6,232 votes or 72.73 percent, with Incumbent Republican Duane A. Davidson coming in second with 2,337 votes or 27.27 percent.

Statewide: Pelliccioti has 1,245,999 or 53.52 percent and Davidson has 1,079,349 or 46.37 percent.

State Auditor

San Juan County: Incumbent Democrat Pat McCarthy leads with 5,186 votes or 63.26 percent with Republican Chris Leyba coming in second with 2,031 votes or 24.77 percent.

Statewide: McCarthy leads with 1,105,356 or 47.27 percent with Leyba coming in second with 943,647 votes or 41.35 percent.

Attorney General

San Juan County: Incumbent Democrat Bob Ferguson leads with 6,570 votes or 75.09 percent with Republican Matt Larkin coming in second with 1,476 votes or 16.87 percent.

Statewide: Ferguson has the most votes for Attorney General with 1,321,264 votes or 56.13 percent with Larkin coming in second with 553,815 votes or 23.84 percent.

Commissioner of Public Lands

San Juan County: Incumbent Democrat Hilary Franz leads with 5,796 or 69.33 percent with Republican Sue Kuehl Pederson coming in second with 1,282 votes or 15.33 percent.

Statewide: Franz leads with 1,180,199 votes or 51.45 percent; Pederson is second with 534,364 votes or 23.3 percent.

Superintendent of Public Instruction

San Juan County: Incumbent Chris Reykdale leads with 3,952 votes or 53.96 percent with Maia Espinoza is in second with 1,749 votes or 23.88 percent.

Statewide: Reykdale currently has 875,486 or 40.45 percent; Espinoza is second with 545,400 or 25.2 percent.

Washington State Insurance Commissioner

San Juan County: Incumbent Democrat Mike Kreidler leads with 6,364 votes or 74.8 percent with Republican Chirayu Avinash Patel coming in second with 1,122 votes or 13.19 percent.

Statewide: Kreidler leads with 1,366,644 votes or 59.39 percent and Patel has 618,149 or 26.86 percent.

State Senator Legislative District 40

San Juan County: Incumbent Democrat Liz Lovelett leads with 6,754 votes or 76.76 percent with Republican Charles Carrell following with 2,045 or 23.24 percent.

Districtwide: Lovelett has 36,057 votes or 71.22 percent.; Carrell has 14,529 votes or 28.7 percent.

Statement from Lovelett: Lovelett posted on her Facebook page, “Thank you to all that donated, volunteered, told their friends, and put up signs- it worked! Currently ahead with 71% of the vote!! Special shout out to my delightful and hard-working campaign manager, Kevin — go Team 40th!!”

State Representative Legislative District 40 Pos. 1

Debra Lekanoff ran uncontested.

State Representative Legislative District 40 Pos. 2

San Juan County: Incumbent Democrat Alex Ramel leads with 6,507 votes or 75.72 percent with Republican Russ Dzialo coming in second with 2,087 votes or 24.28 percent.

Districtwide: Ramel has 35,234 votes or 70.41 percent; Dzialo has 14,708 votes or 29.39 percent.

Statement from Ramel’s office:

With more than 70 percent of the vote after the election night tallies, Representative Alex Ramel has declared victory in the primary election in the 40th District race for position 2. This is Ramel’s first time facing the voters after being appointed in January to fill out the rest of the term in the position held by retiring representative Jeff Morris.

“It’s an honor to have been appointed to fill the temporary position. But it’s a much greater honor to know that I have the support of the voters in this community to continue this work.”

Ramel’s victory in the 40th district comes on a night when there are many hotly contested races in nearby districts around the state.

“This is a strong night for Democrats in Washington, and history tells us that the primary election night is likely the high water mark for Republicans. There are many ballots left to count, but Democratic challengers are competitive in a dozen districts that just two years ago were out of reach,” said Ramel. “Voters are making it clear that they want a careful, science-based approach to protecting public health. They want us to solve the budget crisis without deep cuts and austerity, and they want us to respond to calls for racial justice with systemic change.”