Gamblin/Cadematori race tightens after election night

The challenger made a 2-point jump since Nov. 7, but she is still behind by 129 votes for the Enumclaw School District Director No. 3 seat.

Ballots were slow to be counted this last week, but come Friday, several local races tightened up — though victory for some remains unlikely, if not impossible.

For the latter, the $103 million Enumclaw School District bond, which would have funded a new Byron Kibler Elementary, is handily failing 65% to 35%.

That’s a 10-point improvement over the $253 million bond that failed last February, but obviously nowhere near the 60% supermajority ESD needs to sway to pass the proposition.

Then there’s the hotly-contested Enumclaw School District Board race between District Director No. 3 incumbent Tyson Gamblin and challenger Vivian Cadematori.

Gamblin came out strong with 52% of the vote on election day to Cadematori’s 47%, but over the week, she made up a lot of ground; as it stands, Gamblin leads by 129 votes, 50.68% to 49.09%.

The contest between Tonya Pettit and Ben Stouffer for the District 4 seat hasn’t shifted much. Election night saw Stouffer ahead with 48.24% to Pettit’s 46.82%; Stouffer currently remains ahead, 48.74% to 46.67%.

This race is unusual in one aspect, though — the number of write-in votes that were cast.

Most races have a few (percentage-wise) write-in votes, maybe especially in the unopposed races.

But, once you discount those unopposed races, the Pettit/Stouffer race garnered one of, if not the highest, percentage of wrote-in votes in King County at 4.59% (or 349 votes) as of Nov. 10.

Unfortunately, the person — or people — that earned more than twice the number of votes separating the two candidates cannot be known, according to King County election officials.

“We only canvass and record the names of write-ins when there is a declared write-in candidate and the total number of write-in votes are higher than the first place printed candidate. There are no declared write-in candidates for any Enumclaw races so no canvass of write-in names will happen in this election,” said Halei Watkins, communications manager with the county’s election department. “…It takes an incredible amount of time in a county of our size examine and record every write-in line.”

Scott Mason came charging out of the gate on election night, earning roughly 66% of the votes against Jimmy Stewart for the District 1 seat. Those numbers hardly changed since then, with Mason’s lead only shrinking by roughly 1% last Friday.

The sole-contested Enumclaw City Council race also became a closer race; Kerry Flothe’s 53% for Position No. 2 shrunk to 51.47% as of last Friday, but she’s still ahead of Michael Merker’s 47.94%.

Up north in Black Diamond, Nathan Jones remains comfortably ahead of Pravat Sripranaratanakul for the city council Position No. 6 spot, 60.77% to 37.67%.

Down south in Buckley, Denice Bergerson is leading incumbent Lyn Rose for city council position No. 5, 53.41% to 46.49%.

Also, Connie Bender increased her lead ahead of Maureen Sundstrom from election night, 52.69% to 47.11%.

Finally, White River School District Board Director No. 2 Karen Bunker also jumped ahead against challenger Stacy Mahnke, about 63% of the vote on election night to nearly 67%.

Pierce County’s last vote update was Nov. 9; numbers will continue to be updated until the final certification on Nov. 28.