County Council, a new sheriff, and fireworks: Tuesday, Nov. 2 is Election Day

The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 2. Among other decisions, San Juan County residents will choose their first new sheriff in 24 years and will decide whether to ban
The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 2. Among other decisions, San Juan County residents will choose their first new sheriff in 24 years and will decide whether to ban 'safe and sane' fireworks.
— image credit: File art

Tuesday, Nov. 2 is Election Day.

Ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday. Ballots can be dropped off by Tuesday 8 p.m. at the Elections Office in Friday Harbor, or in a drop box:

— Outside the County Courthouse, Second Street entrance, Friday Harbor.
— Outside the Orcas Island Senior Center, 62 Henry Road, Eastsound.
— Outside the Lopez Island Fire District 4 Office on Fisherman Bay Road.

Islanders will elect their first new sheriff in 24 years. The candidates are Lead Detective Brent Johnson and Deputy Rob Nou.

Islanders will also decide whether to ban “safe and sane” fireworks.

On San Juan Island, voters will choose between Councilman Rich Peterson and educator Laura Jo Severson for County Council, North San Juan. Councilman Bob Myhr and Port Commissioner Jamie Stephens are running for County Council from Lopez/Shaw.

San Juan County voters will also help decide who will serve in the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, and state House. They will help decide whether to create an income tax on the top wage-earners in the state.

The 40th District will have a new representative in the state House from position 1: Anacortes School Board President Kristine Lytton, Democrat; or Mount Vernon real estate agent Mike Newman, Republican. One will succeed Dave Quall, who is retiring. will cover the election — who the winners are and what their election means — when polls close Tuesday night. Final results and updated stories will be published in the Nov. 10 edition of The Journal.

Ballots began pouring in early last week. Elections Assistant Carlys K. Allen said 11,590 ballots were mailed out. By Oct. 25, the Elections Department had received 2,456. By Oct. 27, 3,580 ballots had been processed with another 330 more received.

Secretary of State Sam Reed was predicting a statewide voter turnout of 66 percent.

The county will certify the results on Nov. 23, the state on Dec. 2. The winners will take office on Jan. 1.

Sheriff-elect will attend state meeting
The transition in the sheriff's office will begin shortly after the election.

Sheriff Bill Cumming, who chose to retire after six terms, said he and his successor will attend the annual meeting of the

Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, Nov. 16-18 at Campbell's Resort, Lake Chelan.

He expects that the time between the election and when his successor takes office will be a time of orientation. "I will be totally available. He will probably be in and out of my office very frequently ... We will be going over the budget in detail, how we arrived at certain numbers, what to expect. And I'm sure he will be strategizing how to operate within that budget."

The sheriff serves a four-year term and earns $97,514 a year. The sheriff manages a staff of 36 full-time employees and a budget of $2.3 million, which includes: $719,219, dispatch; $472,888, Enhanced E-911; $398,920, jail; and $209,615, Emergency Management.

Looking ahead to his last day on the job, Cumming said he expects an anticlimactic end to his tenure. "I will probably have to ask for a ride home."

— ONLINE: Online voters guide.

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