County elections: Sant holds on for prosecutor

A Tri-City attorney continued to hold a lead over Franklin County Prosecutor Steve Lowe as more ballots were counted Thursday.

Republican Shawn Sant had an 811-vote lead, with just about 900 ballots left to count. Sant appears likely to unseat his former boss, Lowe, who has held the position since 1995.

Sant had 7,812 votes, or 53 percent, as of Thursday, while Lowe had 7,001, or 47 percent.

In other Franklin and Benton County races, candidates who initially had leads maintained them, while the effort to move the Benton County seat to Kennewick still was falling well short of the supermajority needed for it to pass.

Franklin County had counted 15,427 ballots as of Thursday. The next update will come today at 5 p.m.

In the Franklin County auditor's race, Republican Matt Beaton held a slim 123-vote lead over Democratic incumbent Zona Lenhart.

Beaton had 7,510 votes, or a little more than 50 percent, as of Thursday. Lenhart had 7,387 votes, a little less than 50 percent. That 0.82 percent margin is just outside the 0.5 percent difference that would trigger a mandatory recount.

In Benton County, the measure to move the county seat to Kennewick was still short of the 60 percent supermajority needed to pass. The measure had 28,862 votes in favor of the move, or about 56 percent, with 20,976, or 44 percent, opposed to the move.

Benton County had counted 49,204 ballots as of Thursday, with an estimated 12,000 left. The next update will be 5 p.m. today.

In the race for Benton County District Court judge, Dan Kathren remained in the lead by 452 votes over Alex Ekstrom.

Kathren had 19,748 votes, or 51 percent, as of Thursday, while Ekstrom had 19,296 votes, or 49 percent.

Meanwhile, John Hansens continued to lead the Benton County coroner race. Hansens was 1,095 votes ahead of fellow Republican Alberta "Bert" Redwing.

Hansens had 20,874 votes, or 51 percent, while Redwing had 19,779 votes, or 49 percent, according to Thursday results.

And it appears that a proposal to create a Prosser Regional Fire Authority won't pass. A total of 1,375 votes, or 55 percent, were against the proposal as of Thursday, while 1,104, or 45 percent, were in favor.

Kristi Pihl: 582-1512; kpihl@tricityherald.com