Stouffer, Pettit ahead in ESD Board primary election | Primary election update

The lead between Tonya Pettit and incumbent Lori Metschan is closing, but the challenger remains ahead

It’s a tight race for Enumclaw’s only local primary election, and by certification time next week, it could be a photo finish.

Vying for the Enumclaw School District Board Director No. 4 position is incumbent Lori Metschan and challengers Ben Stouffer and Tonya Pettit.

Stouffer was the clear leader when initial election results were posted Aug. 1, garnering more than 47% of the 4,044 votes counted.

Pettit came in ahead of Metschan, but only just – she received a little more than 26% of the remaining votes, and Metschan 25%. Only 47 votes separated the two.

Come Aug. 4, the last election update before this edition’s print deadline, Pettit’s lead shrunk to only 35 votes.

Forty-nine people wrote in candidates.

“I wish the turnout was higher for the election for sure,” Metschan said in an email interview. “It was my pleasure to serve the district in this capacity for the past two years and I wish the winner of the election all the best in their service to the district.”

Stouffer and Pettit did not immediately respond to requests for comment by print deadline.

By the last election update, roughly 28% of the school district’s 21,461 registered voters’ ballots has been counted — about 6,000 people.

If these results hold steady, Stouffer and Pettit will be facing off in the November general election.

Also running on the general election ballot will be ESD Board President Tyson Gamblin, who is being challenged by Vivian Tillman-Cadematori for District 3, and Scott Mason and Jimmy Stewart for District No. 1 (Director Jennifer Kent is not running for re-election).


Early results of the Aug. 1 primary elections indicated the King County voters the Veterans, Seniors and Human Services Levy was passing.

Initial results came in with 69.5% of voters approving the measure; by Aug. 4, support had grown to about 71.6%.

If that support hold by the Aug. 15 certification, Proposition 1 will renew the six-year property tax levy for collection beginning in 2024 at $0.10 per $1,000 of assessed valuation; the 2024 levy amount will be the base for calculating annual increases by 3.5% in 2025-2029.

According to the county, the levy would fund capital facilities and services for veterans, service members, and their families; seniors and caregivers; and communities susceptible to reduced health, housing, financial, or social stability outcomes.

The levy has funded a wide range of programs that connect veterans, military service members and their families, as well as individuals and families in need with affordable housing, employment, behavioral health treatment, and other services since 2006. In 2017, voters approved the Veterans, Seniors and Human Services Levy, adding funding for services to King County seniors and their families. The current levy expires in December 2023.

According to the county, since 2018, the levy has:

• Served more than 27,000 veterans, service members and their families with fewer eligibility barriers than many federal programs

• Contributed to a 40% reduction in veteran homelessness

• Helped more than 260 veterans, service members, and family members access more than 15,000 mental health counseling sessions

• Built 234 units of affordable housing for veterans and their families

• Funded 39 senior centers across the county

• Served more than 100,000 seniors through expanded senior programming

• Launched DVHopeline, a countywide, 24-hour multi-lingual and multimodal domestic violence hotline, that received 16,000 calls or texts and referred nearly 7,000 of those callers to additional support

• Funded mobile advocacy services for more than 1,200 survivors of gender-based violence

• Helped build more than 1,000 units of affordable housing and 198 new shelter beds