Add another Democrat to the November ballot in Franklin County.
Write-in candidate Diana Izaguirre won enough votes to put her name on the ballot as she attempts to unseat her former boss, Franklin County Auditor Matt Beaton.
Izaguirre received 315 of the 8,575 votes cast in the Aug. 7 primary, or 3.67 percent. That’s well above the 1 percent needed to win a spot on the ballot.
Beaton, a Republican, received more than 96 percent of the vote in a race where no challenger was listed.
Izaguirre said she met her goal of getting her name on the November ballot.
“Now, the real race begins,” she said.
Beaton could not be reached about his unexpected challenger.
Izaguirre is a Pasco native with adult children.
She is legally separated from Michael Killian, the Franklin County clerk currently embroiled in a legal dispute with the seven members of the Benton-Franklin Superior Court bench after they sued over his move to paperless records in March.
Izaguirre worked for the Franklin County Auditor’s Office for more than 25 years before she took a job managing elections for San Mateo County in California in 2017.
She spent a year in San Mateo, calling it a wonderful experience but too far from her family in the Tri-Cities.
She moved back in June. Filing week for the 2018 election cycle was in May but state law allows residents who are registered to vote in their district to run for election as write-ins.
Izaguirre said she wanted to continue to serve in elections. She decided to mount a write-in campaign when she realized Beaton was running unopposed.
Izaguirre registered her write-in effort and campaigned with friends and supporters but without formally announcing her plans to the media before this week’s election.
She said running as a Democrat made the most sense for her. She notes that Washington’s unusual Top 2 primary system reflects the region’s preference to vote for candidates rather than parties.
“ I identify with the Democratic Party and I filed as a Democrat as my mentors have before me — both amazing women,” she said in a follow-up statement. One of them was former Franklin County Auditor Zona Lenhart.
Although she met with Democratic campaign organizers, she said her effort was independent.
“I’m really proud that I can support what the blue wave is doing, but I wasn’t successful because of that,” she said.
The so-called “blue wave” of left-leaning candidates buoyed Democrats across Washington and in the Mid-Columbia.
For the first time in recent memory, the November ballot will feature a Republican and a Democrat in the seven races to represent Districts 8, 9 and 16 in the Washington House and Senate Olympia.
In Franklin County, Republican Clint Didier will face Democrat Zahra Roach for the Franklin County Commission seat currently held by Rick Miller, who lost in the primary.
U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside, will face a Democrat after twice running against a fellow Republican (Didier) in 2014 and 2016. And U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., will face Republican Susan Hutchison.
Though Democrats fared unusually well Tuesday, election math favors conservative candidates, who received about 60 percent of the votes cast Tuesday.