EPHRATA — It was a good election night for county office holders in Grant County, with incumbents maintaining solid leads as the first ballots were counted.
In the hotly contested race for Grant County Commissioner seat three, incumbent Cindy Carter was maintaining a roughly 1,000-vote lead over challenger Jeff Foster.
Carter was ahead with 9,445 votes — or 52.8 percent — compared with Foster’s 8,430 votes, or 47.2 percent.
“This is unbelievable,” Carter said, noting that the commissioner’s race had been a very expensive race. “I’m pretty excited and pretty shocked.”
“Depending on where those votes are coming from, it may be hard to make up,” Foster said. “But I won’t give up until the last ballot is counted.”
In races for county auditor, assessor, and treasurer, the current officeholders all maintained fairly substantial leads over their challengers.
In the assessor’s race, incumbent Melissa McKnight maintained a solid lead over challenger Scott Schmig with 61.7 percent — 11,114 votes — compared to Schmig’s 38.3 percent — or 6,900 votes.
“It is what it is,” said Schmig, who works for the county treasurer’s office. “I’m happy for her, and I will support her the best that I can. And we’ll see where it is in four years.”
In the auditor’s race, incumbent Michelle Jaderlund maintained a similar lead over her challenger James Liebrecht with 67.1 percent — 11,995 votes — compared with Liebrecht’s 37.9 percent — or 5,878 votes.
“I feel fantastic,” Jaderlund said, noting that she was also recovering from a short illness. “I’m happy that I’m ahead.”
The auditor’s office will continue counting ballots and is scheduled to post the next results tonight at 5 p.m. Final election results will be certified on Tuesday, Nov. 27.
Charles H. Featherstone can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.