Election down to final days

By Pat Jenkins The Dispatch In the general election that has less than a week to go, eight Pierce County District Court judge positions are up for election. Only one of them has a contested race. Jeanette Lineberry and Karl Williams are contending for Position 8. They emerged from a three-candidate race in the primary election that was narrowed to the two finalists for the general election. Voting ends Nov. 4, the last day that ballots can be turned in at designated dropboxes or by mail. Lineberry, with about 39 percent of the total votes, was the frontrunner in the primary. Williams eked out a second-place finish by about 448 votes ahead of Sandy Allen. Williams, who has 27 years of courtroom experience as a lawyer, and Lineberry, a former deputy prosecutor for Pierce County, both have experience as appointed judges at the District and municipal court levels. The candidates for the other seven District Court positions are all incumbents who are running unopposed for re-election. pÇÇ Legislature and ballot measures pÇÇ Meanwhile, voters are making decisions on a variety of elected offices and ballot measures throughout Pierce County. In the south end, they include state representative, congressman and two public safety-related levies. In the Second Legislative District, state Rep. J.T. Wilcox is opposed by Steven Nielson. Wilcox, who is seeking his third two-year term, finished with 72 percent of the votes in the primary election. Nielson is a member of the Libertarian Party. The race for the district's other representative is between Republican Graham Hunt, who was appointed earlier this year and is waging his first campaign for the office, and Democrat Greg Hartman, who ran for the same office in 2012. The Second District, which also takes in part of Thurston County, has 11,210 registered voters in Pierce County. In the 8th Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, a Republican, His opponent is Jason Ritchie, a Democrat. Reichert received 63 percent of the votes in the three-way primary race. The multi-county 8th District has 23,106 voters in Pierce County. Voters in the town of Eatonville are deciding a proposed levy that would add $342,876 in property taxes in the town to help cover the cost of public safety in 2015. The levy, which needs at least a 60 percent yes vote to pass, would be collected only for next year, which is when town officials say Eatonville will face a $270,000 shortfall in public safety funding. Graham Fire and Rescue also is asking voters to approve a levy. The four-year, $11 million maintenance and operations measure would fund additional personnel and halt a trend of service cutbacks..Voters in the fire district turned it down in the primary election in August, giving it a 58 percent favorable vote instead of the 60 percent that's required for such measures to pass.
Turn in your ballots
Official dropboxes are scattered throughout Pierce County for voters to deposit their ballots between now and 8 p.m. Nov. 4. The locations include: \* The Barney's Corner mini-mart near Eatonville at State Route 161 and Eatonville Cutoff Road. \* The transit park-and-ride lot at the Roy Y on State Route 7 in Spanaway. \* The South Hill branch of Pierce County Library System at 15420 Meridian Ave. E. Ballots can also be mailed to the elections department of the county auditor.


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