The race for second place in the Benton County commissioner District 2 primary election ended with a Kennewick business official up by 67 votes.
Timothy Dalton, executive director of the Historic Downtown Kennewick Partnership, edged out longtime county worker Brad Taylor, with 2,659 votes, or 25.55 percent, to Taylor's 2,592 votes, or 24.9 percent. That means Dalton will advance to the November general election with incumbent Commissioner Shon Small, who led the three-way race with 5,157 votes, or about 50 percent.
The results became official Tuesday.
Dalton and Taylor were neck-in-neck since election night, when Dalton had a 49-vote lead. While the final margin was close, it's not close enough to require a recount. Small and Dalton are Republicans and Taylor is a Democrat.
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Dalton, 55, said he's grateful for the support he's received. He's looking forward to the general election and will "take every opportunity to debate and to talk about where we've been in the county for the last four years and where we need to go," he said.
"I want to (work on) economic development in the county. I want to build growth within the county for future generations," he added.
Small, 46, who was elected to the District 2 seat in 2010 after a 20-year law enforcement career, said he's honored by the support he's received "from businesses and farmers and the rest of the community," adding he's also grateful for endorsements from officials ranging from the county sheriff to state Sen. Sharon Brown.
"I definitely enjoyed serving these last four years, and I will continue to do the best that I can to be a voice for the people," he told the Herald.
Taylor said he's disappointed in the results. But the 57-year-old said he appreciates the support he received. "The numbers just weren't in my favor, so we go from there," he said.
Other Benton County races
A total of 37,693 ballots were counted in the Benton County primary, with turnout at about 38 percent. A 0.3 percent public safety sales tax passed with 18,873 yes votes, or 53 percent.
It will add three pennies to a $10 purchase in the county, raising an estimated $9.2 million annually for public safety personnel and programs.
Voters also renewed Benton Fire District 4's property tax levy, which passed with 55 percent.
In the race for county assessor, Bill Spencer and Mary M. Phillips will advance to November.
Spencer, a certified real estate appraiser who owns Spencer Appraisal Service, led the field with 11,200 votes, or about 38 percent. Phillips, the county's geographic information systems manager, had 10,394 votes, or 35 percent.
Both are Republicans.
The third candidate -- Republican Tony Hillerman, an appraiser for the county -- was eliminated. He had 8,098 votes, or 27 percent.
Like in neighboring Benton County, few races in Franklin County were narrowed in the primary -- most had only one or two candidates, and they'll automatically move on to the November election.
County commissioner District 3 was an exception. In that race, incumbent Commissioner Rick Miller faced two challengers -- Melinda Didier, chairwoman of the county planning commission, and Mark Kraft, an electrician at Battelle. Didier led the field with 1,926 votes, or about 46 percent, while Miller came in second with 1,695 votes, or 41 percent.
Kraft collected 522 votes, or 13 percent, and was eliminated. All three are Republicans.
Voter turnout in Franklin County was about 34 percent, with a total of 10,212 ballots counted.
-- Sara Schilling: 509-582-1529; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @saraTCHerald