• Check out all North Central Washington and state election results and stories: Election 2010
WENATCHEE — With 89 percent of the vote counted, incumbent Ann Congdon is easily defeating challenger Jenae Pape-Miller for a second six-year seat on the Chelan County PUD commission for District 3.
The race for the PUD’s four-year at-large District B seat remains too close to call, with incumbent Dennis Bolz leading challenger Stan Morse by a nose — 8,846 votes to 8,396, with an estimated 2,200 left to count.
“It’s too early to call,” Bolz, 63, said Tuesday from an election-night party at his Sunnyslope home. “A number of people told me they thought it would be a much wider spread, but Joycelyn (his wife) and I have been cautiously optimistic through the whole thing. We’re not breaking out the champagne, yet.”
A Chelan attorney and city councilman, Morse, 56, joined campaign members election night for dinner and the Gordon Lightfoot concert in Wenatchee.
Reached this morning by phone, he said he wasn’t surprised the race is this close, but said he would be surprised to overtake Bolz.
“There are so many factors that went into this race, everything from the PUD’s billion-dollar debt to voter dissatisfaction,” Morse said. “Obviously, the current trend is not something I’m excited about. I’m happy with my showing. I’m happy with a lot of great feedback I got from people. I’m proud of the people of this county for turning out in such great numbers.
The next vote tally will be around 4 p.m. Friday.
A retired educator, Congdon, 63, captured 10,920 votes in the initial ballot count Tuesday to Chelan businesswoman Pape-Miller’s 7,111.
“I just continued to talk about the positive; about what we’ve done right,” Congdon said Tuesday during an election-night party at her home in Manson. “I think it’s always harder when you’re an incumbent. … You kind of have to take the potshots and take the challenges. It’s hard to continue to be positive when you’re continually being challenged. I feel I have so much invested in this. I love what I do … I feel it’s so critical we keep this going, with our financial policies.”
Pape-Miller, 46, said she was surprised by the election numbers.
“I thought people were ready for a little bit of change,” she said, “but I also accept what people do. I hope that my running helps our current commissioners to be more accountable for their actions.”
She said she is rooting for Stan Morse to win his race against the incumbent Bolz because “there has to be change in the PUD.” She said there needs to be more “transparency, accountability and truth-telling in the PUD.”
World reporter Dee Riggs contributed to this report.
Christine Pratt: 665-1173