2022 Election Observations

November 11th, 2022 by Ken

Voters in Thurston County made a wise move this election year when they voted to increase the number of Thurston County Commissioners and Port of Olympia Commissioners from three members to five.

It passed by a greater majority for Thurston County, but it did pass for the Port.  I’m not certain why the port vote was less, because the cost for the county commissioner increase was far greater than for the port.  But it passed and that’s  a  gold star for voters.  By approving the increase (and with it new commissioner boundaries) they assured better representation, communications and accountability.

We also elected ourselves a 28-year old sheriff (who will be 29 before he is sworn into office.)  Derek Sanders is probably the youngest elected sheriff ever in Thurston County, and maybe in the entire State of Washington. Was the final outcome a way of voters telling the incumbent sheriff that it was time he stepped down, or was it because Sanders was so qualified that it was impossible not to vote for him.

At 29, he is the most powerful law enforcement official in the county.  That’s a tremendous responsibility. I gasped when I realized how young he was, and then I remembered I was running Lacey’s only newspaper at the age of 30.  I also remembered how many mistakes I made in learning my job.  When I made mistakes it hurt people’s feelings.  If he makes mistakes it ruins people’s lives.

We’ll know shortly, how mature he is.  He has said he will appoint an under sheriff who will be his manager.  But, some of the people he has suggested he might appoint are light-weights and incompetents.  Sanders needs to make the right decisions early on and his first appointment will tell us of his level of maturity.

Thurston County is the most liberal county in Washington State.   The recent election, as well as longtime observation, shows that Thurston County is about three percent more liberal in its voting record than any other county in the state, including those to the north.

In all of the partisan races on the ballot this year, Republican candidates took about 35 percent of the vote.  That margin has held strong for nearly two decades.    The only race that exceeded that margin was Vivian Eason who garnered more than 40 percent in her race for county commissioner against Tye Menser.  In Thurston County, that’s a  moral victory – for all  that means.


Posted in The Real News

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