NCW — Dale England was almost 13 percentage points ahead of his nearest competitor in the race for the Chelan County District 3 seat.
England received 1,898 votes (42.8%) on Election Day. Brandt Cappell and Tiffany Gering are battling for second place with Cappell ahead with 1,299 votes (29.3%) to Gering’s 1,237 votes (27.9%). County election officials have counted 14,463 ballots and have 8,189 ballots left, according to the Chelan County Auditor’s website. Officials will release the next batch of ballots on Friday.
They are competing to replace retiring Commissioner Doug England, who is completing his third term.
England — Doug’s brother — believes his experiences as an orchardist, running a helicopter company and serving in law enforcement make him uniquely qualified as a candidate. He’s spent his entire life in Chelan County and said he is well acquainted with the issues the area faces.
England, 64, faced some controversy as a candidate, including allegations of not submitting his financial statements to the state in a timely manner. There were also questions around his being fired from the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office and subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing.
England said he was pleased with the election results on Tuesday and is looking forward to the general election.
“I think the voters researched the candidates and they’re looking for a candidate that has founded two successful businesses, is involved directly with agriculture, is involved directly with tourism and has volunteered his whole life to support the community,” England said.
Cappell, 34, has served as a legislative assistant for state Reps. Cary Condotta and Keith Goehner. He lives in the Sunnyslope area.
In the primary, Cappell said he wanted to focus on housing issues and increase the amount of developable land. He was also concerned about blanket legislation by the state Legislature that didn’t take into account differences in Eastern Washington lifestyles.
Cappell said he was nervous about his slim lead over Gering, but was looking forward to continuing his campaign into the general election. It has been tough to run a campaign during the COVID-19 pandemic, which may have contributed England’s lead.
“I think as we go throughout the county we can talk more about the issues and the things that are important to all of Chelan County,” Cappell said. “I think voters will also see it is not a name versus a name type of thing.”
Gering, chief operating officer for the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce, said she ran for office to create a better future for her two daughters. She has been attending county meetings since January to prepare for taking office and is willing to put in the homework for her constituents.
Gering, 40, is particularly concerned with land use issues and mental health. She believes the county should stop using incarceration as a means of handling mental health.
Gering did not respond to a phone call for comment on Tuesday night.