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Franklin County Commission incumbents move on to general election

Incumbent Franklin County commissioners Brad Peck and Bob Koch survived challengers Tuesday and will move on to November's general election.

Mark Faith, a county building inspector, received 481 votes, or 28 percent, in the Position 1 race, coming in second to Peck, who had 805 votes, or 47 percent.

Rosie Rumsey, county director of human resources, trailed in third place at 25 percent, with 432 votes.

She was disappointed at her third-place showing but hopeful the remaining ballots to be counted will push her ahead of Faith.

"I'd hoped to be a close second. I did all I could do to get the word out," Rumsey told the Herald.

Her campaign focused heavily on the multimillion embezzlement in the county's public works department discovered earlier this year. Rumsey attempted to suggest Commissioner Peck had not done enough to identify and expose the embezzlement earlier in his term.

Peck said his strong finish, which was almost twice the number of votes Rumsey received, showed he has served constituents in his district well.

"This is my own neighborhood. I've worked very hard on the issues my constituents are concerned about, such as the shoreline program and saving boat docks and helping people in the 'doughnut hole' to get voices heard about the proposed annexation.

"I'm gratified by the level of support and I'm optimistic it will carry over countywide in November," Peck said.

He said the results showed voters are not blaming the commissioners for the embezzlement case.

"People understand the commissioners in office were not the ones who created the ... situation. We were the ones who put an end to it," he said.

Peck said he was surprised that Faith finished ahead of Rumsey.

"He is a worthwhile opponent, but it is a little more support that I expected," Peck said.

Faith could not be reached Tuesday night.

In the Position 2 race, Koch, who is looking for a third term, was just seven votes ahead of Pasco City Councilman Al Yenney.

Koch received 296, or 31 percent, while Yenney had 298 votes, or 30 percent.

Two other candidates, Patrick E. Barnett, and Lee Barrow, fell short of making the top two list.

Barnett, a former Pasco police officer, received 159 votes, or almost 17 percent, while Barrow, a Connell city council member and Franklin County sheriff's detective, had 206 votes for almost 22 percent.

Barnett said he was just 137 votes behind Koch, but it would take a miracle to put him into the top two.

"It is hard going against incumbents. I didn't have the name recognition. And there wasn't much of a turnout," Barnett said.

Koch said it felt good to be leading the primary, even if it was only by seven votes so far.

"Feels good, by far," Koch said, adding that voters probably considered the candidates' positions on converting TRAC into a regional aquatics center the most important issue during the campaign.

Yenney said he fully expected he and Koch would survive the primary.

"Bob's a gentleman, and we'll have a good campaign," he said.

Franklin County Auditor Matt Beaton said the countywide turnout was about 25 percent.

Almost 1,500 ballots received at drop boxes or by mail Tuesday will be counted at 2 p.m. today. The results have to be certified by Aug. 21.

w Benton County commission races showed Jim Beaver, commissioner for District 3, with 5,018 votes, or almost 80 percent, overpowering Edgar Cousineau with 1,199 votes.

In the District 1 race, where incumbent Leo Bowman is leaving office, state Sen. Jerome Delvin had 4,900 votes, or 60 percent, leading Rick Jansons, who had 3,166 votes, or about 39 percent.

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