The 0.3 percent public safety sales tax on the ballot in Benton County still is passing with 53 percent approval.
The measure had 16,209 yes votes to 14,202 no votes by Wednesday afternoon, with an estimated 6,500 votes left to be tallied in the county.
The sales tax would add three pennies to a $10 purchase, raising an estimated $9.2 million annually for public safety needs -- from putting more officers on the streets to bolstering crime and gang prevention and intervention efforts.
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Overall results for the 4th Congressional District seat held by retiring Rep. Doc Hastings changed little after more votes were counted Wednesday.
With 84,332 votes counted, Republican Clint Didier had 25,761 votes, or almost 31 percent of the vote, up less than half a percentage point from Tuesday night.
Fellow Republican Dan Newhouse trailed him with 22,436 votes, or almost 27 percent, about the same as Tuesday night.
Newhouse lost some ground in his home county, Yakima County, with 42 percent of the votes there, down from 44 percent Tuesday night.
He still had better than twice as many votes as Didier in Yakima County, the only one of the eight counties in the district where Newhouse received more votes.
The district includes voters in Benton, Franklin, Yakima, Walla Walla, Douglas, Okanogan, Grant and Adams counties.
There was little change in the totals of the other 10 candidates in the primary. Only the top two vote-getters move on to face each other in November.
The race for second place in the Benton County commissioner District 2 primary narrowed to 23 votes. Timothy Dalton had 2,284 votes to Brad Taylor's 2,261 votes.
If the numbers were final, that margin would be narrow enough to require a recount.
Another update is planned today.
The goal is to have most or all ballots counted by the end of the day, said Stuart Holmes, elections administrator.
Dalton and Taylor trail incumbent Shon Small, who has 4,468 votes, or about 50 percent.
Small and Dalton are Republicans and Taylor is a Democrat.
Dalton, 55, of Kennewick, who works as executive director of the Historic Downtown Kennewick Partnership, said he’s optimistic his lead for second place will hold. The results signal he’s picked up votes from Republicans and Democrats, and, “I think people are hearing my message about (the importance of) economic development,” he told the Herald.
Taylor, 57, a Prosser resident and longtime county public works employee, said he’s feeling good.
“It is what it is. I’m not ready to give up the boat yet. We’re still afloat anyway,” he said.
Small, 46, of Prosser, spent 20 years in law enforcement with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office before winning election to the District 2 seat in 2010.
Election night trends are holding in a couple other Benton County races. In the primary for county assessor, Bill Spencer and Mary M. Phillips still are edging out Tony Hillerman.
Spencer had 9,457 votes, or 37 percent, while Phillips had 9,097 votes, or 36 percent, and Hillerman received 6,782 votes, or 27 percent.
All three are Republicans.
A proposition to renew a property tax levy for Benton Fire District 4 in West Richland also still is passing.
The levy had 1,751 yes votes, or 56 percent, to 1,397 no votes, or 44 percent, as of Wednesday.
In Franklin County, Melinda Didier is holding onto her lead in the commissioner District 3 primary, with 1,804 votes, or 46 percent.
Incumbent Rick Miller trailed with 1,583 votes, or about 41 percent, while Mark Kraft drew 493 votes, or 13 percent.
-- Sara Schilling: 509-582-1529; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @saraTCHerald