DAYTON — Mayor and Council incumbents mostly breezed through election night on their way to another term.
With 1,275 ballots counted and another roughly 205 outstanding, voter turnout was at about 55% for Columbia County on Tuesday. That doesn’t count the ballots that will be postmarked Tuesday and trickle in this week, Deputy Auditor and Elections Supervisor Cathy Abel said.
Incumbent Mayor Zac Weatherford was catapulted to his first full term after being appointed to fill the seat vacated by the late Craig George.
Weatherford received 737 votes, or 66.49%, against challenger Delphine Bailey, who received 179 votes, or 24.29%. Declared write-in candidate Cindi John garnered 68 votes, or 9.23%.
Weatherford, a Washington State Penitentiary correctional officer, could not be reached this morning for comment.
Bailey, a 23-year resident of Dayton and two-term Council member, will complete her current Council term, which expires at the end of 2021.
Three other Council positions were on the line Tuesday, and when the year starts, one more vacancy will need to be filled.
Misty Yost, who ran unopposed for the Position 2 seat, will leave Position 5 when she starts her first full term in January. Yost had already filed to run for Position 2 when she was appointed to fill the Position 5 seat vacated this year by Kathy Berg, who made a move to Walla Walla.
That means a new Council member will need to be appointed to the Position 5 seat.
In Position 6, the race closed Tuesday with a 40-vote spread between incumbent Byron Kaczmarski and challenger Seth Bryan.
Kaczmarski, an accountant at American Energy Inc., received 333 votes, or 52.61%, compared to Bryan’s 293 votes, or 46.29%. Abel said with remaining ballots to be counted Nov. 25, the day before certification of the election, a change in direction is possible.
In a more decisive vote, Position 4 incumbent Dain Nysoe appeared victorious over challenger Cara James.
Nysoe, who is retired and manages a family-owned farm, received 415 votes, or 60.67%, on the way to a third term against James’ 256 votes, or 37.43%.