Regional incumbents held on strong through preliminary election results in most Spokane County races while local voters split closely on statewide measures on class size and firearm background checks. Republicans took nearly every county-level race save County Auditor Vicky Dalton.
Incumbent Spokane County Commissioner Al French has a small but stable lead with 53 percent of the preliminary vote, leading Democratic challenger Mary Lou Johnson by 6,000 votes. Primary votes had left room for Johnson to make a strong run, but early returns have her falling short.
Longtime deputy prosecutor Larry Haskell, a Republican, has a sizable lead over watchdog civil rights attorney Breean Beggs. Haskell has 58 percent of the early vote, compared to 41 percent for Beggs.
Republican incumbent Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich leads with nearly 72 percent of the vote, winning more than twice as many votes as Republican challenger Doug Orr, a detective with the Spokane Police Department. Early results closely reflect Knezovich’s overwhelming tally in the primary election.
For county clerk, Republican Timothy Fitzgerald leads Democrat Mary Wissink 58 percent to 41 percent.
Incumbent Vicky Dalton will likely hold onto the county auditor position as she leads with 60 percent of the vote. Incumbent County Assessor Vicki Horton leads by more than 71 percent.
For county treasurer, Republican Rob Chase leads Democrat Amy Biviano by 55 percent to 44 percent.
Spokane residents strongly supported city propositions for a street levy and a Riverfront Park bond, with 77 percent and 67 percent approval, respectively.
U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers saw a strong lead of 59 percent over the Democratic challenger Joe Pakootas. She leads by more than 25,000 votes, with Whitman County still uncounted.
Republican Bob McCaslin enjoys a strong lead over fellow Republican Diana Wilhite for the District 4 state representative seat, with McCaslin winning 56 percent of the early vote.
In the District 4 Pos. 2 race, incumbent Rep. Matt Shea leads his Republican challenger Josh Arritola 56 percent to 43 percent.
With all but one rural county reported in, early statewide results show class size Initiative 1351 failing with just 49 percent support. Spokane County voters split almost exactly in half with 50.15 percent opposed to the initiative.
Early results have support for Initiative 594’s expansion of background checks hovering just below 60 percent while voters were rejecting I-591, which would have prohibited the expansion of background checks or firearm confiscation.
Spokane County residents narrowly approved the I-594 background checks with 54 percent support. But they also even more narrowly support the dueling I-591 prohibiting increased background checks with 50.03 percent.