W. Richland races closer, other Benton Co. leads hold in 2nd count

November 6, 2013 

Merle Johnson pulled within 37 votes of Brent Gerry in the race for West Richland mayor after Benton County counted more ballots Wednesday morning.

Jay Bowman is still leading for Position 1 on the West Richland City Council, despite withdrawing from the race for personal reasons, but is only nine votes ahead of Johan Curtiss.

In the new vote totals, Gerry has 1,184 votes, or 50.8 percent of the votes counted, and Johnson had 1,147 votes, or 49 percent of those counted.

Gerry now holds the Position 1 seat on the city council, but chose to run for mayor rather than re-election to the council.

In the race for his seat, Johan Curtiss has 870 votes, or 49.7 percent of those counted, and Bowman has 879 votes, or 50.3 percent.

Kennewick voters still are rejecting a one-tenth of 1 percent sales tax increase for the expansion and improvement of the Three Rivers Convention Center. The updated tally Wednesday morning showed the measure with 3,892 yes votes, or about 43 percent, to 5,251 no votes, or about 57 percent.

Election night trends also were holding in other major Benton County races, including for Kennewick and Richland city council positions.

More Benton County votes are expected to be counted Wednesday afternoon.

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