The first returns of the 2015 Primary Election are giving an early indication of which of the 23 candidates for six Yakima City Council positions being contested will advance to the General Election on November 8th. Only the top two vote getters in each race move on to the General Election.
The Yakima County Auditor’s office conducts only one count of ballots on election night and, consequently, issues just one set of returns. The election night count usually represents about 20% of the ballots that have been returned to the Auditor’s office prior to Election Day. Yakima County uses an all-mail-in voting system, so ballots that are postmarked before midnight on August 4th will still be considered valid for the Primary Election.
In Yakima City Council District 1, Dulce Gutiérrez leads with 79.41% of the vote and is followed by Russell Montiero with 12.30%and Llosimar Garcia with 5.08%.
Avina Gutiérrez leads the four contenders in District 2 with 37.35% of the vote. Maud Scott has 29%. Pablo Gonzalez is next with 21.58% of the vote followed by Edgar Moreno with 11.83%.
District 3 had the most candidates in the primary race with five. In District 3, Kelly Rosenow has 29.62%, Carmen Méndez has 28.62% of the vote, Patricia Byers has 22.80%, Justin Cawley has garnered 10.48%, and Nicholas Kline has 7.90%.
The four primary candidates in District 4 are led by incumbent Councilmember Bill Lover with 52.55%. Lover is followed by Tony Sandoval with 24.97% of the vote, Tony Williams with 14.42%, and Larry Breer with 6.92%.
The District 5 primary returns are led by incumbent Councilmember and current Assistant Mayor Kathy Coffey who has 52.22% of the vote. Reed Pell has received 17.99% of the vote so far. Phil Allard has the third most votes in District 5 with 16.36% of the total. Gordon Heintzman has so far received 12.45% of the vote.
Incumbent Councilmember Maureen Adkison leads her two District 6 challengers with 57.02% of the vote. Gavin Keefe has 24.93% and Adam Yoest has received 17.38% of the vote.
The District 7 race features just two candidates, Holly Cousens and Gunnar Berg, so no primary was needed in that district. Both Cousens and Berg will advance to the November General Election.
In Union Gap, two City Council positions are being contested in the Primary Election. In the Position 4 race, incumbent David Butler has received 57.71% of the vote followed by Lorena Fernandez with 27.71% and Jim Lemon with 13.54%. The Position 6 Union Gap Council race has Julie Schilling with 41.18% followed by James Murr with 36.13% of the vote and Eddie Perez with 21.22%.
Additional ballot counts will be conducted over the next few days. Ballot counts will continue periodically until all of the ballots that were received before the midnight August 4th deadline have been tabulated. The 2015 Primary Election will be certified on August 18th.