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Wapato voters favor new candidates over incumbents in Aug. 6 election returns

WAPATO, Wash. - While votes are still coming in for the primary election, results from Tuesday night indicate Wapato Mayor Dora Alvarez-Roa — with just 22 votes — will not be on November’s ballot.

Preliminary results also show council members Brinda Quintanilla-Bautista, Joel Torres, Barbie Hilario and Ira Cantu each receiving the least amount of votes in their respective races. 

The notable exception was council member and mayoral candidate Keith Workman, who received 126 votes, or 49.2 percent of the vote, leaving him as a presumptive candidate for mayor in the upcoming general election. 

Workman told KAPP-KVEW at the July 24 special meeting of the Wapato City Council that the city is “bleeding dry” and that officials need to make hard decisions, like what to do about the various claims, lawsuits and financial problems facing the city.

“This is what I’m standing for and I’m fighting against this because the city needs to come back to what it is,” Workman told KAPP-KVEW at the July 24 meeting. “With this administration, that’s not going to happen.”

Coming in at 42 votes, or 16.8 percent of the total, towing company owner and operator Joseph “J.C.” Wofford will likely appear alongside Workman on the upcoming ballot. 

About 250 people cast their ballot in the mayor’s race for one of the six candidates. Gina R. Ramos had the third-highest count, with 9.8 percent of the total, or 25 votes. 

Quintanilla-Bautista decided to run for mayor instead of pursuing reelection as a council member. She had 20 votesl, or 7.8 percent of the total — the same amount received by Leah Smartlowit. 

There are more ballots to be counted Wednesday. The top two candidates in each race will advance to the November general election. 

Here’s a list of the preliminary results for Wapato City Council positions:

WAPATO CITY COUNCIL — POSITION 2
Former Wapato Mayor Jesse Farias took the lead Tuesday in the primary race for Wapato City Council Position 2, with 65.2 percent of the total, or 165 votes. 

Farias served as mayor for more than 12 years — running unopposed in 2015, 2011, 2007 and 2003 — before retiring early in 2016. 

Heritage University student Edwin Andrade had 18.1 percent of the total, or 46 votes. Coming in at third and just eight votes behind was incumbent Torres, with 15 percent of the total, or 38 votes. 

WAPATO CITY COUNCIL — POSITION 4
Three of the five candidates for Wapato City Council Position 4 came within a handful of votes between each other.

Margaret Estrada had 26.2 percent of the total, or 66 votes, while Doug Milne had 22.6 percent of the total, or 57 votes. 

Former council member Frank Jaime had 24.2 percent of the total, or 61 votes. Jaime ran unopposed for council in 2015, 2011 and 2009.

Mara Floresca Hernandez had 17 percent of the total, or 43 votes. At 9.9 percent of the total, or 25 votes, it’s unlikely that incumbent Hilario will move on to the general election. 

WAPATO CITY COUNCIL — POSITION 5
Former council member and mayor Tony Guzmán took the lead in the race for Wapato City Council Position 5, with 12.7 percent of the total, or 81 votes. 

Guzmán ran unopposed for city council in 2015, 2011, 2007 and 2003. He became mayor after Farias retired in 2016. 

Guzmán ran for mayor in 2017, but didn’t make it through to the general election and ended up filling a vacant position on the city council.

Following behind Guzmán was Frances Ayres and former city clerk Cindy Goodin, who came in less than 10 votes apart. Ayres had 22.5 percent of the total, or 57 votes, while Goodin had 18.9 percent of the total, or 48 votes. 

Former council member Roberto Reyna had 13.4 percent of the total, or 34 votes. Reyna ran unopposed for council in 2015 and 2013 before resigning in September 2018.

Incumbent Ira Cantu had 12.7 percent of the total, or 32 votes. 

WAPATO CITY COUNCIL — POSITION 6
Local business owner Judith Owens-Canapo took the lead Tuesday night, with 61.7 percent of the total, or 156 votes, meaning she’ll more than likely appear on the November ballot. 

Rosie Reyes had 25.7 percent of the total, or 65 votes, more than 30 votes ahead of Danae Pugh. Pugh had 12.2 percent of the total, or 31 votes. 

WAPATO CITY COUNCIL — POSITION 7 AT-LARGE
Caroline Solis led the race for Wapato City Council Position 7, taking 53.3  percent of the total, or 131 votes. 

Karina Lara received 28.5 percent of the total, or 70 votes, while George Perea had 16.7 percent of the total, or 41 votes. 


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