Recount confirms Lathim will move on to general election

The November election for the District 9 state representative will feature two Republicans.

Former Franklin County Sheriff Richard Lathim maintained his 47-vote advantage, as not a single vote changed in a six-county recount to determine who got second place in the Aug. 6 primary, according to the state Secretary of State’s office.

Republican Lathim collected 4,899 votes, or 25.9 percent, to Democrat Kenneth Caylor’s 4,852 votes, or 25.7 percent.

Both men trail Rep. Mary Dye, R-Pomeroy, who got 9,132 votes, or 48 percent.

The District 9 race is one of two special elections in Washington this year. The winner will fill in the final year of the two-year term that former Rep. Susan Fagan was elected to last year.

Dye was appointed to the position in May in Colfax at a special meeting of county commissioners from the district. Lathim had been the top vote-getter at a nominating meeting for GOP precinct committee officers days earlier.

The elimination of Caylor, a former Othello city councilman, means the seat remains in Republican hands. Fagan, a Walla Walla Republican, resigned amid an investigation into expense reports she filed.

Democrats maintain a 51-47 advantage over Republicans in the House.

The only other legislative position on the ballot this year, in District 30 in Pierce County, is much less a sure thing as to which party will pick it up. Republican Teri Hickel finished first in the August two-person “dry run” primary by 52 percent to 48 percent over Rep. Carol Gregory.

Gregory was appointed to the position by Gov. Jay Inslee after Rep. Roger Freeman was reelected despite dying just before the November 2014 election.

The recount in District 9 was needed because Lathim and Caylor finished less than a half a percentage-point apart. Adams County completed its recount Aug. 21, while Franklin, Asotin, Whitman, Garfield and Spokane counties did theirs Wednesday.

Franklin County was the only county where Lathim won. Caylor did not win any counties, but kept the race for second place tight by finishing well ahead of Lathim for second in Whitman and Asotin counties.

The vote went in Lathim’s favor after Caylor held second place by 186 votes on election night.