Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Thurston County Commission Race Between Wolfe and Rogers

Karen Rogers, center, receives a hug from supporter Cliff Lee, while Phil Cornell, Rogers' campaign treasurer, checks the percentage results tonight shortly after 8:30 p.m. 

Thurston County Commissioner Race Between Wolfe and Rogers

by Janine Unsoeld

"Hot damn!" exclaimed Karen Rogers, candidate for Thurston County Commissioner, Position 1, upon hearing the results of the race just shortly after 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night. Her party was in high gear tonight with supporters extending congratulations and hugs upon hearing the news.

"I'm thrilled and I've gotta thank everyone - my volunteers, and everyone who supported me, especially the voters...this is totally awesome," gushed Rogers.

According to the Thurston County Auditor website, at 8:33 p.m., Cathy Wolfe received 32.72% of the vote (4,112 votes); Karen Rogers received 30.31%  (3,810 votes); Ken Jones received 24.49% (3,078 votes), and George Barner, Jr. received 12.48% (1,569 votes). Jones ran as a Republican, while Wolfe, Rogers, and Barner ran as Democrats.

With an estimated 8,000 ballots left to count, the Auditor's Office will conduct another ballot count Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m.

Asked to comment, Rogers said her strategy was to work hard. "I didn't take anything for granted. I was doorbelling up to six or seven hours a day." Asked where she doorbelled, Rogers laughed and said, "I'm not telling you that!"

Rogers then excused herself, saying she needed to call Barner and Jones.

"I'm going to thank them for running and all they contributed to the race. They enriched the race with the issues they brought forth and I hope to continue on with their issues. With George, it was fiscal responsibility as well as listening to all the people, especially about the Critical Areas Ordinance. Ken Jones brought forth the needs of the south county. Their voice must be heard, along with everyone's else's."

Conversation amongst supporters focused on the issues facing both candidates. Tumwater city councilmember Ed Hildreth is a supporter of Rogers' campaign.

"I'm glad to see that we have an opportunity for some change...we need commissioners that are going to listen to the people. We have to have balance." Hildreth said this race is about property rights.

Jim Goldsmith agreed. Goldsmith, a resident of Steamboat Island, said he couldn't vote for Rogers in the primary but can, and will, in the general election.

"I'm definitely supporting Karen. I believe she's a person who will promote and protect property rights, promote building our economy and help small businesses," said Goldsmith.

Asked how he got involved in the campaign, Goldsmith said, "My eyes were opened when the commissioners were pursuing the no shooting zone ordinance and the emergency prairie ordinance - that had significant impact on rural property owners. I'm intensely interested in our environment. I'm halfway through getting my masters in geographic information systems, with an emphasis in sustainability, at the University of Washington....there needs to be a balance, and in my mind, the commissioners forgot what the balance was."

Karen Rogers is congratulated by Tumwater city councilmember Ed Hildreth shortly after hearing tonight's election results.