By Gale Fiege Herald Writer
COUPEVILLE — Incumbent Island County commissioners Helen Price-Johnson and Angie Homola appear headed to the November election.
Price-Johnson has a good lead in the District 1 race against challenger Jeff Lauderdale, a retired Navy officer. In District 2, Homola currently is in the second-place position, about 37 votes behind Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce director Jill Johnson.
In Tuesday’s returns from the Island County Auditor’s office, Price-Johnson, a Democrat, was leading with 3,286 votes or 57.18 percent to Republican Lauderdale’s 1,377 or 23.96 percent of the vote.
Jill Johnson, a Republican, garnered 1,005 votes or 33.85 percent to Democrat Homola’s 969 or 32.64 percent of the vote.
Price-Johnson, the county’s first female commissioner, said she is pleased with the primary election results so far.
“I am honored by the support from my district,” Price-Johnson said. “Voters showed a preference and seem to be very clear about who they want to represent them at the county.”
Lauderdale could not be reached for comment.
Price-Johnson is not surprised by Lauderdale’s advancement to the general election because he declared his candidacy in 2011 and has raised more money than other challengers, she said.
Defeated in the District 1 primary election race were Republican Wayne Morrison, and two others who claim no political party preference, Curt Gordon and Ed Jenkins.
Johnson said she did well in the District 2 race, despite the conservative vote having been split between herself, independent Phil Collier and fellow Republican Jim Campbell, an Oak Harbor city councilman.
“I feel very optimistic about November. To be on top at this point is telling about the way people feel the last four years have been going for the county,” Johnson said. “I hope we are met with the same success in the general election.”
Homola called the race “very close” and she said she is happy about the support she received.
“We’re delighted with the support from District 2. This was a good strong showing and we’re looking forward to the general election,” Homola said. “I thank those opponents who step aside now for their willingness to step into the arena of public service.”
In the primary, commissioners are elected based upon districts. In the general, all Island County votes decide on the commissioners.
The annual salary of members of the three-person board is about $78,500. Commissioner Kelly Emerson of Camano Island was not up for re-election this year.