Yelm’s election results provide insights to consider
- While the results are unofficial, Yelm Council candidates Cameron Jayne & Matthew McLellan have been handily defeated for Pos. 2 and Pos. 6 respectively. These two candidates did not meet the eligibility requirements for Yelm elective office in not properly being registered as City of Yelm residents for at least one year prior to this election. If they would have won, their elections would have been challenged and disqualified, followed by the City of Yelm having to hold another election for these postitions without their names on the ballot. The city would have had to incur the expense of another election during the next ballot in February 2020. Further, council candidates Jayne and McLellan were “protest” candidates, each with a personal agenda to defeat the incumbents. They conveyed little to no coherent platforms other than being the anti-incumbent candidates. Their disjointed comments during a recent council session were clearly a publicity stunt and political move for show, which came off as mere grand-standing. They hopefully will volunteer on citizen committees.
Council candidates Jayne and McClellan lacked education on following public process, which may have been a contributing factor to their defeats and in solidifying support for the incumbents!
- In a strong showing, Pos. 1 council candidate James Blair is currently trailing EJ Curry by only 8 votes. Blair’s views on conservative budget principals and responsibility have hit home, i.e. reigning in spending, getting public works issues addressed as a priority. Curry’s influence, name recognition, and money in outspending Blair, may not be enough for her to win. Curry told the Nisqually Valley News in 2016 she was a “placeholder,” which has been evident by her mostly voting with the staff’s recommendations and rarely involving herself in public discourse on important issues.
- Yelm Community Schools Board of Directors incumbents Donna Edwards and Denise Hendrickson also resoundingly defeated their challengers. These schools directors have served on the Board since 2000 and 1998 respectively, and will now exceed over 2 decades with their reelections. While these board members have name recognition, I was elated to see younger challengers, who are parents of more recent school age children than the incumbents, bring their modern vision for these posts to their campaigns. I hope to see Denice Lingle and Charity Aleff run again.
- While voter turnout is around 22.46 percent in Thurston County, up to 688 voters cast ballots in the Yelm Council races to-date. This is 12.4% and pathetic with 5,542 registered Yelm voters. As an example, in another off-year election in 2005, Yelm had less than half as many residents and registered voters as today, yet 1,076 cast votes for Yelm elective offices. As Joe DePinto aptly stated on his Facebook post, “Of the 30 or so jurisdictions (ranging from cities, towns, and school districts) we have the lowest turnout of everyone in Thurston County. We are literally dead last right now in voter turnout. The outcomes in the past two elections in Yelm have been decided by only a handful of votes.”
- Election results are set to be certified Tuesday, Nov. 26.
- Click here for the latest election results.