If post-election vote counts continue the latest trend, a mother-son team could occupy two seats on the Pierce County Council.
State Sen. Pam Roach extended her lead Wednesday over former legislator Carolyn Edmonds in the District 2 contest. Edmonds led in election night returns last week, but Roach pulled ahead as the Pierce County Auditor’s Office counted more ballots. On Monday, Roach lead by 117 votes. On Tuesday, her lead was 295. In Wednesday evening’s total, Roach led Edmonds by 363 votes.
Roach’s son Dan is the District 1 council member and vice-chairman of the council. His term will expire in 2018. He served as council chairman last year.
Pam Roach and Dan Roach served simultaneously in the Legislature. Pam Roach has served in the state Senate since 1990. Her son served for five terms in the House representing the 31st District, beginning in 2001. Pam Roach has the longest continuous tenure of any Washington legislator. Both are Republicans.
The size of Roach’s lead Wednesday precludes an automatic machine recount for now, said Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson. Likewise, the margin is too large for a manual recount, which Edmonds’ campaign would have to pay the auditor to conduct.
Edmonds said Wednesday she’s unlikely to request a manual recount unless Roach’s margin of victory decreases drastically.
The final vote tally is not expected to be finished until Nov. 29, when the County Canvassing Board will certify the results. That board will meet Thursday to begin examining ballots that vote counters have set aside because of flaws in markings or partially legible votes. Some 25,000 ballots remain to be counted, 3,500 of them in District 2.
New votes from military members will be counted if they arrive on or before the certification meeting on the 29th. Other ballots that had flaws such as missing or unmatched signatures can be corrected by voters who are notified that their ballots are being held pending their furnishing the missing information, said the auditor.
Pam Roach has pledged to resign her Senate position if she wins the council race. A ballot measure approved by voters prohibits county office holders from occupying two elected offices at the same time.
John Gillie: 253-597-8663