Early results from Tuesday’s general election show that the balance of the Clark County Council could be poised to tilt a little to the left. But with ballots still left to count, it could be just a little.
The initial count had Democratic activist and relative political newcomer Eric Holt with a lead of about 1,200 votes over of Republican Clark County Councilor Eileen Quiring in the race for Clark County Council chair.
The first count of ballots showed Holt with 71,545 of the vote, or 50.43 percent. Quiring had 70,315 votes, or 49.57 percent.
Quiring could not be reached for comment, but Holt said it was too close to call.
“You never know how these things are going to go,” said Holt.
According to results posted on the Washington Secretary of State’s website, there are still an estimated 45,000 ballots in Clark County that need to be processed. Speaking on election night, Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey said that a total of 65,000 ballots could still come in that would need to be processed.
If Holt maintains his lead, early returns suggest he’ll likely be joined by fellow Democrat Temple Lentz who secured a strong lead over incumbent Republican Clark County Councilor Jeanne Stewart.
The initial vote count shows Lentz with 18,779 votes, or 60.59 percent of the vote. Stewart had 12,217 votes, or 39.41 percent of the vote.
Lentz’s lead suggests that the five-member council will have its first elected Democrat since the home rule charter was enacted in 2015.
“I’m very pleased with these results,” said Lentz. However, she said she was reluctant to declare victory just yet.
In the council’s District 2 race, Councilor Julie Olson captured a commanding lead over fellow Republican Elisabeth Veneman, who challenged the incumbent for what she characterized as her insufficiently conservative positions.
According to the initial count, Olson had 26,211 votes or 78.26 percent of the vote. Veneman had just 7,283 votes, or 21.74 percent.