The race for Thurston County Commissioner District 2 tightened this week, as incumbent Gary Edwards drew within one percent of challenger Michael Steadman.
With around 73 percent of the vote in, Steadman leads with 50.18 percent to Edwards’ 49.43 percent — a difference of 1,013 votes.
After the first round of counting on Election Day, Steadman, a Democrat, held a nearly 5 percent lead over Edwards, an Independent.
Steadman, a Lacey city council member, wrote in the Thurston County voter guide that he’s run a campaign focusing on innovative public policy, inclusivity and infrastructure.
Edwards has served one term as commissioner, and previously served 20 years as Thurston County Sheriff.
His campaign has focused on “less partisan politics and more common sense to address the complex issues facing our community, businesses and family.”
“I want to continue progress towards reducing regulatory roadblocks for small businesses and home builders and improved access to county services for the public,” he wrote.
In the county’s other contested commissioner race, Democratic candidate Carolina Mejia maintains a firm lead over Republican challenger C. Davis. Mejia holds 59.11 percent of the vote to Davis’ 40.54.
If Mejia and Steadman maintain their leads until all votes are counted, the Thurston County Commissioners will consist entirely of Democrats.
Election results are certified on Nov. 24.
“The time between election day and certification day gives us time to make sure we’ve allowed voters to cure signature issues and for us to count every valid vote,” said Thurston County Auditor Mary Hall in a press release.