By Dee Camp
OKANOGAN - Challenger Ray L. Campbell topped incumbent District No. 2 County Commissioner Don R. "Bud" Hover by 10 votes in the final tally of ballots, but the race is headed to a hand recount because it is so close.
Campbell received 7,194 votes, or 50.03 percent, in the Nov. 6 general election, which was certified Nov. 27. Hover received 7,184 votes, or 49.97 percent.
Both are Republicans.
The 0.06 percent difference sent the results straight to a hand recount, which starts today, Nov. 28, with county Auditor's Office workers separating the paper ballots by precinct. That's expected to take several days, with the actual count beginning at 9 a.m. Dec. 3.
Under state law, a 0.25 percent difference triggers a hand recount, while a 0.5 percent difference means a machine recount.
County-wide voter turnout was 80.48 percent.
"That's a very good turnout," Election Administrator Mila Jury said.
One local ballot measure squeaked by with a one-vote margin. Okanogan city voters said yes to a 0.1 percent sales tax increase with 446 yes votes, or 50.06 percent, to 445 no votes, or 49.94 percent.
That's a 0.12 percent difference, but local ballot measures don't go to automatic recounts, Jury said.
In the other close race, Tonasket voters said no to a 0.1 percent sales tax increase by a two-vote margin, 191 yes, or 49.74 percent, to 193 no, or 50.26 percent, for a 0.52 percent difference.
In other contested local races:
-Republican Sheilah Kennedy defeated Democrat Albert Roberts for the commission District No. 1 position being vacated by Andy Lampe. Kennedy earned 9,048 votes, or 58.31 percent, to Roberts' 6,468 votes, or 41.69 percent.
-Incumbent District Court Judge Heidi E. Smith defeated challenger Scot D. Stuart. Smith received 8,916 votes, or 65.21 percent, to Stuart's 4,756 votes, or 34.79 percent, in the non-partisan race.
-Challenger Steve Houston defeated incumbent Public Utility District Commissioner Trish Butler. Houston received 8,047 votes, or 59 percent, to Butler's 5,591 votes, or 41 percent, for the non-partisan position.
-Oroville city voters said yes to an emergency medical care and ambulance services levy, with 396 saying yes, or 68.39 percent, and 193 saying no, or 31.61 percent.
-Rural Oroville voters said yes on a similar levy request, with 828 saying yes, or 68.66 percent, and 378 saying no, or 31.34 percent.
-Oroville School District voters said yes to a capital projects levy, with 936 saying yes, or 51.29 percent, and 889 saying no, or 48.71 percent. The measure needed a simple majority to pass.
-Coulee Area Park and Recreation District voters turned down a maintenance and operations levy request, with 1,192 voters in the multi-county district saying yes, or 57.42 percent, and 884 saying no, or 42.58 percent. The measure needed a 60 percent yes vote to pass.
In Ferry County final results:
-Incumbent District No. 1 Commissioner Brad L. Miller defeated challenger Johnna Exner. Miller received 1,699 votes, or 54.67 percent, to Exner's 1,409 votes, or 45.33 percent.
Both are Republicans.
-Republican challenger Mike Blankenship defeated incumbent Democrat Robert L. "Bob" Heath for the District No. 3 commission post. Blankenship received 1,679 votes, or 50.47 percent, to Heath's 1,648 votes, or 49.53 percent.
-Challenger Dan Fagerlie defeated incumbent Nathan Davis for Ferry County Public Utility District Commission position No. 2. Fagerlie received 1,766 votes, or 55.99 percent, to Davis' 1,388 votes, or 44.01 percent, in the non-partisan race.
County-wide voter turnout was 79.22 percent.