Pos. 1 for 14th Dist. called for Johnson in Tuesday's election, high turnout statewide
YAKIMA, Wash – The auditor's office had 5,000 ballots left to count on Friday for all of Yakima County making it safe to declare a winner in all races from this week's election.
One of those contests was Rep. Norm Johnson's bid for re-election of Position 1 in the 14th Legislative District against Michele Strobel. Johnson had 52.3 percent of the votes as of Friday evening, Strobel had 47.8 percent.
Strobel told KNDO she had conceded to her supporters and planned to call Johnson by phone to congratulate him on his win.
County Auditor Corky Mattingly believes this unique race between two republicans may have future implications even though the state representative will receive another term.
"This is a fluke right now," she said. "We've never had anything like this, maybe later on we'll see more of this."
Mattingly says it was surprising how close the votes were for this type of race. Strobel said she knew by Thursday that she had lost since Johnson's lead grew each day.
KNDO spoke to Johnson on Friday as well and he said he wasn't declaring himself a winner yet and wants to talk to Strobel over the phone first.
He had 12,451 votes at the end of the day Friday, Strobel had 11,370 votes. The numbers reflected an even higher than expected turnout. According to the Secretary of State's office, 70 percent of Washington voted in Tuesday's election. Optimistic estimates were for 66 percent.
Johnson's new term in the state legislature will begin in January.