Vander Stoep leads Balmelli-Powe in Chehalis School Board race by wide margin 


Incumbent Chehalis School District Director District 5 candidate J. Vander Stoep was leading challenger Julie Balmelli-Powe in a landslide on election night. 

As of 8:06 p.m. on Tuesday, Vander Stoep, who is seeking his second term on the board, held 66.48% of the vote, with 1,567 ballots to his name. Challenger Balmelli-Powe, a third-generation farmer and W.F. West graduate, had 32.8% of the vote, or 773 votes, as of the preliminary count. A total of 17 votes had gone to a write-in candidate as of election night.

For the two uncontested Chehalis School Board races on the November ballot, Alan Browning took 1,703 votes for the district 2 director position on election night, with 40 votes going to a write-in candidate; and Timothy C. LeDuc took 1,720 votes for the district 1 director position, with 38 votes going to a write-in candidate. 

The preliminary count included the results of 13,338 ballots. The Lewis County Auditor’s Office estimated there were still 701 ballots left to count on election night, with an estimated total voter turnout of 24.15%.

The next ballot count will be released at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 8. Election certification will take place on Nov. 28.