Only One Thurston County Elected Official Running Behind Challenger in First Tally


The results of Tuesday’s primary for Thurston County’s countywide offices were largely for show, since none of the races involved more than two opponents who will both move on to the general election.

 However, the results of one race could predict trouble for an incumbent in November.

 Sheriff John Snaza — an independent who has served as sheriff since 2011 and won reelection in 2014 and 2018 without facing any challengers — received fewer votes than his opponent.

Derek Sanders, also an independent and current deputy who previously worked at the Lacey Police Department, received 19,133 votes in Tuesday night’s first tally of primary results, while Snaza received 17,802. With 249 write-in ballots for other candidates, the percentage split was roughly 51.5% for Sanders, and 47.9% for Snaza.

All other county incumbents with opponents — Assessor Steven J. Drew, Auditor Mary Hall, Clerk Linda Enlow, Commissioner Tye Menser, Treasurer Jeff Gadman — were winning the primary by significant margins.

Prosecutor Jon Tunheim and Coroner Gary Warnock are running unopposed.

More ballots will be counted each day this week as they arrive via mail. The official results will be certified on Aug. 16 by the canvassing board. The general election is Nov. 8.