Grocery store owner Floyd Pope and Dan Hite, a retired septic tank pumper, advanced Tuesday in their quest for the most coveted mayor’s chair in northeastern Washington.
Hite and Pope were among five men who wanted to be mayor of Stevens County’s second-smallest town: Springdale, population 260.
Both men are giving up seats on the Town Council to run for mayor.
Candidates eliminated in Tuesday’s primary were Councilman Bud Brown, former Councilwoman Lonnie Anderson and Planning Commission Chairman James Sullivan.
The final unofficial tally: Hite, 27 votes, or 32.5 percent; Pope, 39, 47 percent; Anderson, 7, 8.4 percent; Brown, 6, 7.2 percent; Sullivan, 4, 4.8 percent.
In one of Springdale’s two contested council races, incumbent Steve Gluth and challenger John Harris will advance to the Nov. 4 general election. Gluth had 43 votes, or 52.4 percent, compared with 30 for Harris, or 36.6 percent. Evelyn Harms was eliminated with 9 votes, or 11 percent.
The other contested Springdale council race, for the position Brown abandoned, was narrowed to Vickie Denman and Lowell Peterson. Denman had 41 votes, or 50 percent, while Peterson had 24, or 29.3 percent. Francis Brown, no relation to Bud Brown, was eliminated with 17 votes, or 20.7 percent.
In nearby Chewelah, Stevens County’s second-largest city with 1,966 residents, local newspaper columnist Lew Arnold and supermarket clerk Ron McCoy appear to have ousted incumbent mayor Gloria Davidson.
With at least 91 absentee ballots still uncounted, the race is too close to call.
At the polls, though, Arnold led with 183 votes, or 38.8 percent, followed by McCoy with 158 votes, 33.5 percent, and Davidson with 131 votes, 27.8 percent.
Whitman County’s only contested municipal race was in Garfield, population 544. Incumbent Councilman Richard Leinweber, an executive for a farm and garden machinery wholesaler, will advance to the general election with glass blower Jack Doebler. Grocery store owner Anna Million was eliminated.
Doebler and Leinweber were running neck and neck with 61 votes (44.9 percent) and 60 votes (44.1 percent) respectively.
Lincoln County’s second-largest city, Odessa, population 943, had the only contested primary in that county. School cook and civic activist Becky Kolterman will face Tom Clavel, chief mechanic for an agricultural service company, in the general election.
Incumbent Councilman Vaughn “Chip” Hunt, a building contractor, was eliminated.
With 25 absentee ballots still out, Kolterman had a commanding lead with 161 votes, or 51.4 percent of the total. Clavel had 86 votes, or 27.5 percent, and Hunt trailed with 66 votes, or 21.1 percent.