By now, you’ve probably heard. Democrats took the House. Republicans kept the Senate. But what happened with the races and initiatives closer to home? We’re hitting a few of the highlights.

Increased Voter Turnout

(Ballots are still being counted in some areas, so these numbers are based on estimates reported by each county.)

Pierce County

Total registered voters: 499,164

Total ballots: 327,026

Voter turnout: 65.51 percent

The estimated voter turnout for Pierce County represents a sizable increase compared to the turnout during the 2014 midterm elections. Four years ago, just 49.96 percent of registered voters cast ballots. Two years ago, in the 2016 general elections, 74.45 percent of those registered in Pierce County voted. (Typically, presidential elections see higher turnout.)

Thurston County

Total registered voters: 181,316

Total ballots: 125,598

Voter turnout: 69.27 percent

Thurston County also saw a substantial increase in voter turnout this year as compared with the midterm elections in 2014. Four years ago, 52.53 percent of registered voters in the county cast ballots. In the 2016 presidential election, 77.66 percent of registered Thurston County residents voted.

Lewis County

Total registered voters: 47,568

Total ballots: 34,140

Voter turnout: 71.77 percent

In Lewis County, 2018 voter turnout exceeds the county’s 2014 turnout by nearly 15 percent. During the midterm elections four years ago, 57.07 percent of registered Lewis County voters cast their ballots. Even more impressive, this year’s turnout came close to the county’s 2016 presidential election turnout, which was 77.64 percent.

Mason County

Total registered voters: 39,191

Total ballots: 27,435

Voter turnout: 70 percent

Voter turnout in Mason County this year surpassed turnout during the previous midterm elections by more than 10 percent. In 2014, 59.5 percent of registered voters in the county cast their ballots. In 2016, 77.7 percent of voters registered in Mason County voted.


12 Local Initiatives

Pierce County

Pierce County Rural Library District Proposition No. 1 Levy Lid Lift

Approved: 50.19 percent (104,854 votes)

Rejected: 49.81 percent (104,043 votes)

This proposition, if passed, would authorize the Pierce County Rural Library District to restore its property tax levy rate to $0.50 per $1,000 of assessed value, to be collected in 2019 and used to fund library services within the district. The district operates 18 facilities throughout unincorporated Pierce County including in Bonney Lake, DuPont, Eatonville, Gig Harbor, Lakewood, and Steilacoom.

City of Tacoma Proposition No. 1 (Tacoma Creates)

Approved: 67.19 percent

Rejected: 32.81 percent

The approval of this proposition will allow for a .01 percent increase in Tacoma’s sales tax to provide funding to expand arts and cultural programs throughout the city. Tacoma Creates estimates that $5 million could be raised in a year, and that the increased sales tax could cost the average Tacoma household $13 annually.

Bethel School District No. 403 Proposition No. 1 ($443,000,000 bond)

Approved: 59.12 percent

Rejected: 40.88 percent

Although at first glance, it might appear that voters passed this bond, that may not actually be the case. Bond validation requires a 60 percent majority, which has not been achieved here. The bond would authorized the Bethel School District to build a new high school and two new elementary schools, as well as make other improvements.

City of Gig Harbor Proposition No. 1 (Sales and Use Tax for Transportation Improvements)

Approved: 49.28 percent

Rejected: 50.72 percent

This proposition, if passed, would authorize an increase in city sales tax by .2 percent, starting in April 2019 and for a period of 10 years. The money raised would be used for transportation improvements.

Town of Eatonville Advisory Vote No. 1 Recreational Marijuana Businesses

Yes: 50.51 percent (545 votes)

No: 49.49 percent (534 votes)

The advisory vote is nonbinding, but voters narrowly said “yes” to the town amending zoning regulations to ban recreational marijuana businesses inside town limits.


Thurston County

City of Lacey Formation and Funding of New Lacey Metropolitan Park District

Approved: 47.87 percent

Rejected: 52.13 percent

The new park district, if approved, would have been governed by the Lacey City Council as ex officio board of parks commissioners.

City of Tumwater Formation and Funding of New Tumwater Metropolitan Park District

Approved: 52.77 percent

Rejected: 47.23 percent

The new park district will be governed by the Tumwater City Council as ex officio board of parks commissioners.

Intercity Transit Proposition No. 1

Approved: 65.61 percent

Rejected: 34.39 percent

Approval of this proposition will increase sales tax by .4 percent to maintain, improve, and expand public transportation services. Funds raised will be used for a variety of improvements beginning in 2019 and expected to be completed by 2026.


Lewis County

County This Measure Home Rule Charter Process

Yes: 44.96 percent

No: 55.04 percent

This measure would have restructured the county government to add a manager or executive.

Toledo School District 237 Proposition No. 1 ($7,000,000 bond)

Approved: 72.66 percent

Rejected: 27.34 percent

This bond will provide funds for the construction of a new Toledo High School building to replace the current school building.

Lewis Public Transit Benefit Area County Wide Expansion of Public Transportation Services Sales and Use Tax Levy

Approved: 35.47 percent

Rejected: 64.53 percent

If approved, this levy would have authorized a .2 percent sales tax increase to fund the operation and maintenance of public transportation within the Lewis County Transportation Benefit area.


Mason County

Fire Protection District 9 Merger with Fire Protection District No. 16

Approved: 80.58 percent

Rejected: 19.42 percent

This resolution approves the merger of the two fire protection districts and allows for sharing of resources and personnel.


13 Close Races

Pierce County

Congressional District 8 U.S. Representative

Kim Schrier (D): 43.77 percent

Dino Rossi (R): 56.23 percent

Statewide results: Kim Schrier (52.68 percent), Dino Rossi (47.32 percent)

Legislative District 25 State Representative Position 1

Kelly Chambers (R): 50.63 percent

Jamie Smith (D): 49.37 percent

Legislative District 25 State Representative Position 2

Chris Gildon (R): 51.27 percent

Brian Duthie (D): 48.73 percent

Legislative District 26 State Senator

Emily Randall (D): 49.08 percent

Marty McClendon (R): 50.92 percent

Statewide results: Emily Randall: 49.9 percent, Marty McClendon: 50.1 percent

Legislative District 26 State Representative Position 1

Jesse L. Young (R): 52.61 percent

Connie FitzPatrick (D): 47.39 percent

Statewide results: Connie FitzPatrick: 47.92 percent, Jesse L. Young: 52.08 percent

Legislative District 28 State Representative Position 1

Mari Leavitt (D): 52.79 percent

Richard (Dick) Muri (R): 47.21 percent


Thurston County

Legislative District 35 State Senator

Tim Sheldon (D): 50.74 percent

Irene Bowling (D): 49.26 percent

Statewide results: Irene Bowling: 47.79 percent, Tim Sheldon: 52.21 percent

Commissioner District No. 3

Tye Menser (D): 50.33 percent

Bud Blake (I): 49.67 percent


Lewis County

Commissioner District 1 Sub-District 1 Freeholder District 1 Position 1

Ron Averill: 35.46 percent

Arny Davis: 33.43 percent

Paul Crowner: 16.43 percent

Larry Kerschner: 14.69 percent

Commissioner District 1 Sub-District 1 Freeholder District 1 Position 5

Jennifer L. West: 42.07 percent

Evan Fagerness: 36.97 percent

Peter N. Lahmann Jr.: 20.96 percent

Commissioner District 3 Sub-District 3 Freeholder District 3 Position 3

Linda Williams: 29.26 percent

Marty Hayes: 26.22 percent

Cynthia (Cindy) Colson: 23.9 percent

Harry O. Bhagwandin: 20.62 percent


Mason County

Mason County Auditor

Paddy McGuire (D): 51.24 percent

Charles G. Rhodes (NP): 48.76 percent

Mason County Commissioner District No. 3

Sharon Trask (R): 51.99 percent

Kevin Schmelzlen (D): 48.01 percent

This article was last updated on November 16, 2018 at 9 a.m.