Retired Willapa Valley High School Principal Steve Rogers and retired Raymond firefighter Scott McDougall are leading in the early primary election results Tuesday night, likely headed to the general election to contend for the seat vacated by former County Commissioner Jon Kaino.
Rogers is a Democrat and McDougall is a Republican. Other candidates include former Public Works engineer Bill Herman and shellfish grower Warren Cowell, who are both Democrats.
McDougall had the early lead with 37.7 percent or 609 votes. Rogers was just behind him with 35.23 percent (569 votes). Cowell had 15.9 percent and Herman had 11.2 percent.
Rogers and McDougall, both South Bend residents, pledged to keep their race cordial.
“McDougall is a very formidable opponent,” Rogers said. “It’s ironic we’re good friends and have known each other a long time. We’ve even worked the sidelines of football games (at the same time).”
“This has been my home for the last 18 1/2 years and the relationships I have built in this community are way more important than politics or any election,” McDougall said. “I’ve been friends with Steve Rogers before this election and we’ll be friends when we’re done.”
Most of the population base for the district is in the northern part of Pacific County, where Rogers and McDougall live. Herman and Cowell are from the southern end of the district.
District 1 includes Naselle, Seaview and Ilwaco and then hops north to include all of the city limits of South Bend. Only those within the district voted in the primary. The race goes countywide in the General Election.
“There’s a lot of work to do throughout the county,” Rogers said. “I’m going to the Long Beach Peninsula in the morning and meeting with some folks there and working on some strategy and getting myself known better. I need to start redistributing some yard signs and planning some meets and greets.”
McDougall said he felt “very comfortable” with the results.
“I’ve done very little outside of my district and that’s where I’m going to start working tomorrow and getting to know people in the whole county,” he said.
Kaino resigned from his seat at the end of May. Whoever eventually wins the General Election will take over the seat when it’s certified in December and serve for the following four years.
Kaino had been on the commission for nearly 20 years.
The county commissioners recently appointed long-time Democratic activist Beverly Olson of Bay Center as interim county commissioner to serve as caretaker until the General Election results are known.
Besides Kaino’s seat, Pacific County Commissioner Bud Cuffel’s seat was also on the ballot. Cuffel is retiring at the end of the year. Cuffel represents District 2, which includes most of the Long Beach Peninsula. Four Democrats are all on the ballot. No Republicans are running. The top two candidates advance to the countywide election in November.
Democrat Frank Wolfe was leading the pack with 31.2 percent (518 votes). Next is Rich Makowski with 26.76 percent (445 votes). Fred Hill had 21.95 percent (365 votes).
Bryan West had 20.14 percent (335 votes).
Pacific County had a 40.72 percent turnout with 5,398 ballots returned out of 13,256 ballots sent. The county estimates another 900 ballots are left to count. Next results are released on Friday.
Steven Friederich, a Daily World writer, can be reached at 537-3933, or by email at email@example.com