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Write-ins sweeping Hatton races

Ballots to be reviewed later this week

HATTON — Write-in candidates appear to have swept the election of town leaders here.

Unofficial election returns show all three incumbents – Mayor Dell C. Palmer and Town Council members James Earl Van Patten and Linda Palmer — losing to write-in candidates.

Adams County Auditor Heidi Hunt confirmed the apparent outcome, but said the race isn’t over because write-in ballots may or may not be for declared write-in candidates.

Each of those races do have declared write-in candidates, she said.

Justine Pherigo declared her write-in candidacy for mayor, she said. Rhea Isaac is a declared write-in for Town Council Position No. 2 and Ignacio Mendoza is a declared write-in for Town Council Position No. 3.

Write-in ballots will likely be reviewed Friday, Hunt said.

“If they are cast for the declared write-in candidate, they are counted,” she said.

But if someone just wrote in a name or something like “Mickey Mouse,” those ballots are not counted, she said.

Because of the review, Hunt said it’s not possible just yet to say for sure who is winning each race.

But, according to the preliminary results, Dell C. Palmer is trailing write in candidates 26.09% to 73.91%. He has 6 votes; the write-in tally is 17.

In the Town Council Position No. 1 race, Van Patten has 22.73% of the vote, while write-ins account for 77.27%. The unofficial tally as of Monday was 5 votes for Van Patten and 17 for a write-in.

And in the Town Council Position No. 3 race, Linda Palmer has 27.27% of the vote, compared to write-in candidates with 72.30%. Linda Palmer has 6 votes, white the write-ins have 16.

If the ballots with write-in candidates match the names of the declared challengers, Pherigo will be the next mayor, Isaac will unseat incumbent Van Patten and Mendoza will topple incumbent Linda Palmer.

The final election results will be certified Nov. 23.

Author Bio

Roger Harnack, Publisher

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Roger Harnack is the co-owner/publisher of Free Press Publishing. Having grown up Benton City, Roger is an award-winning journalist, photographer, editor and publisher. He's one of only two editorial/commentary writers from Washington state to ever receive the international Golden Quill. Roger is dedicated to the preservation of local media, and the voice it retains for Eastern Washington.


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