Eisenhour, Smith advance to General Election | 2020 Primary Election

Brian Kelly bkelly@ptleader.com
Posted 8/12/20

Heidi Eisenhour and Lorna Smith will square off in November’s General Election for the District 2 position on the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners.

Eisenhour and Smith outpaced Amanda …

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Eisenhour, Smith advance to General Election | 2020 Primary Election

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Heidi Eisenhour and Lorna Smith will square off in November’s General Election for the District 2 position on the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners.

Eisenhour and Smith outpaced Amanda Funaro in the 2020 Primary Election to advance to the fall ballot.

Eisenhour led on Election Night and maintained her lead through subsequent vote tallies.

In Monday afternoon’s tally, she had 43.21 percent of all ballots cast and had a 522 vote advantage over Smith.

Smith picked up 32.62 percent of the vote, while Funaro had 21.41 percent.

The vote count Monday stood at 2,131 for Eisenhour; 1,609 for Smith; and 1,056 for Funaro.

Eisenhour, 49, is chief operations officer for the Northwest Maritime Center. 

“I’m thrilled,” Eisenhour said on Election Night after the first tally in the 2020 Primary Election was announced.

“We’ve been working hard and my team’s been working 12 hours a day for the last four months. We’re all feeling really excited.”

Eisenhour praised the quality of her fellow candidates in the race, and said everyone had run a clean campaign.

She admitted to be the worrier for her campaign leading up to Election Day.

“I actually did not expect it to be as good as it was,” Eisenhour said.

Eisenhour led in the initial count by 280 votes. Smith was in front of Funaro by 383 votes.

“We’re pleased with the results tonight,” Smith said on Election Night.

“It’s not an unexpected result, and certainly a winnable race, we believe, at this point,” Smith added.

Smith, 69, is executive director of Western Wildlife Outreach.

“We’ve got our work cut out for us,” she said.

The first unofficial vote count showed Eisenhour was in front with 44.98 percent of all ballots cast, while Smith amassed 34.52 percent of the vote, and Funaro, 20.21 percent.

The second vote count on Aug. 5 saw the gap grow between the second-place finisher and the candidate in third place.

DOWN TO TWO

Funaro conceded Thursday. She threw her support to fellow candidate Heidi Eisenhour.

In a letter sent to The Leader following Thursday’s vote count, Funaro said it was clear she would not be one of the final two candidates advancing to November’s General Election.

“I am disappointed to not have the opportunity to serve as your county commissioner, but I’m happy for the attention my campaign has brought to the plight of working families in our county, and the need for affordable housing and sensible approaches to infrastructure development,” Funaro wrote. “I fervently hope these issues will continue to be a primary focus in this race. I wish my opponents well as they move forward — it takes great determination, strength, and vulnerability to enter the political arena.”

Another 53 votes were counted in the District 2 race last Thursday, with 23 going to Eisenhour, 15 to Smith and 15 to Funaro.

Funaro, 41, is the operations officer of Good Man Sanitation.

In her concession, Funaro encouraged her voters to stand with Eisenhour come November.

“At this critical moment of economic insecurity and pandemic backlash, we need to elect the leader who can unite rather than divide our county. I believe that Heidi Eisenhour will be this champion, and I will be endorsing Heidi Eisenhour to be our next county commissioner. I encourage my supporters to do the same,” Funaro wrote. 

“I want to assure you all that I’m not going anywhere. This is my community, and my determination to do my part has never been stronger. I will continue to speak out as an advocate for housing, equity, and the underdog at every turn,” Funaro added. “We still live in a democracy, and the voices of the people matter. I will do my best to continue to speak up and be a voice for those who feel they aren’t being heard.”

PRECINCT VOTE

Eisenhour was winning 10 of the 12 precincts in District 2, according to the first vote tally.

She had a majority in four precincts: Hadlock (50.8 percent); Kala Point (51.7); Irondale I (52.1); and Irondale II (51.6).

In the two Irondale precincts, Eisenhour edged Smith by 106 votes.

Two other precincts were crucial in Eisenhour’s early advantage: Chimacum I (where she won 48.8 percent of the vote); and Nordland (47.6).

Smith was winning two of the district’s 12 precincts: Cape George and Discovery Bay.

In Cape George, Smith had 44.7 percent of the vote, to Eisenhour’s 34.4 percent of votes tallied on Tuesday.

In Discovery Bay, Smith had her best showing of the night, with 48.5 percent of the vote. Eisenhour was at 31.4 percent of all ballots cast in the initial tally.

The pair dueled to a four-vote difference in Four Corners, where Smith had 38.6 percent of the vote to Eisenhour’s 41.1 percent. Funaro had 20.2 percent.

Only registered voters in District 2 were able to cast ballots in the contest. In November’s General Election,  all voters in Jefferson County will make the final decision on who serves in the District 2 seat.

OTHER RACES

The District 2 race is one of two commissioner positions on this year’s ballot.

Kate Dean, the incumbent commissioner for District 1, is running unopposed this year. 

David Sullivan, the county’s current commissioner for District 2, announced in February he would not seek a fifth term.

NEXT UPDATE

The next election update is planned for 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 12. County officials estimate there are 611 ballots left to be counted.

Turnout after Monday’s tally was pegged at
64.47 percent.

Jefferson County has 26,504 registered voters, and 17,087 ballots had been counted as of Monday afternoon.

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