San Juan's choices: Obama, Gregoire, Larsen, Ranker, Morris, Rosenfeld, Pratt, Fralick

Barack Obama ... president-elect received overwhelming support in San Juan County. - Office of U.S. Sen. Barack Obama
Barack Obama ... president-elect received overwhelming support in San Juan County.
— image credit: Office of U.S. Sen. Barack Obama

San Juan County voters helped make history Tuesday. They voted overwhelmingly for America’s first black president, sent one of their own to the state Senate for the first time in 100 years, elected two new County Council members, and helped Gov. Christine Gregoire maintain the governorship.

For president and vice president, islanders voted 5,729 -- 70.48 percent -- for Barack Obama and Joseph Biden. They voted 2,274 -- 27.97 percent -- for John McCain and Sarah Palin.

Gregoire received 6,824 votes -- 54.87 percent – to former state Sen. Dino Rossi’s 2,554, or 31.76 percent. Though small in numbers that vote may be when compared to more populous areas of the state, it was the seventh-highest percentage of voter support for Gregoire of Washington’s 39 counties.

Statewide, Gregoire was leading this morning 864,302 to Rossi's 750,542. Gregoire won in 16 counties -- all west of the Cascades, with the exception of Spokane.

For 40th District state Senate, San Juan County Councilman Kevin Ranker easily defeated former state representative Steve Van Luven of Samish Island 23,081 to 15,578. For 40th District state House, Rep. Jeff Morris, D-Anacortes, easily won reelection, receiving 26,710 votes to former Bothell city councilman Howard Pellett’s 7,698. State Rep. Dave Quall was unopposed.

For 2nd District U.S House of Representatives, Rep. Rick Larsen, whose latest term was distinguished by his successful sponsorship of the Wild Sky Wilderness Act, led former Snohomish County sheriff Rick Bart in all counties in the district -- Island, King, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom. Larsen had 121,734, Bart had 68,144.

San Juan County Councilman Howard Rosenfeld of Friday Harbor won a second term, defeating Fay Chaffee of the Community Development and Planning Department 466 to 314.

Rosenfeld will be joined on the council by Lovel Pratt and Richard Fralick. Pratt, a county planning commissioner and advocate for affordable housing and sustainable agriculture, received 810 votes to win the County Council San Juan South position. Former freeholder Gordy Petersen, who also had served on the county planning commission, received 626 votes. Pratt will succeed Ranker, who was elected to the state Senate.

Fralick, a former freeholder from Orcas Island, received 771 votes to win the County Council Orcas West position being vacated by Alan Lichter, who lost in the primary. Mindy Kayl received 654.

The 2009 County Council will be the first council comprised entirely of members elected under the county charter. Ranker and Lichter were elected before the charter was adopted and were receiving their pre-charter salaries of $68,000 a year. Council members elected after the charter’s adoption receive $34,000 a year. The council will need the savings: The county faces $1 million in spending cuts for 2009, largely because of a decline in sales and lodging tax revenues.

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