By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – With the count of more ballots coming in since election night numbers were released, Lewis County Steve Mansfield’s edge over challenger sheriff’s Sgt. Ken Cheeseman has grown.
Mansfield gained almost one percentage point and Cheeseman lost almost one point.
The Lewis County Auditor’s Office election department released the latest numbers this afternoon in the vote-by-mail election.
They can be found online on the Auditors Office website.
Mansfield, a Winlock resident, was a bit surprised on Tuesday night that Cheeseman has gained so much support since the primary.
On the night of the primary election in August, Cheeseman had only 40.87 percent of the votes.
Both men started their law enforcement careers at the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office in the early 1980s, both are 53 years old and both are Republicans. Mansfield became sheriff almost six years ago.
The incumbent sheriff now leads with 52.38 percent of the vote while Cheeseman, who lives in Randle has 47.62 percent.
On Tuesday, the gap between them was only 614 votes. Tonight it has grown to 1,336.
There are some 42,000 registered voters in Lewis County and the numbers released Tuesday reflected only about 23,000 ballots, according to the Auditor’s Office. This afternoon’s numbers are based on about 31,000 ballots, putting voter turnout at almost 74 percent.
The election won’t be certified until Nov. 23. The Auditor’s Office will post the next count on Nov. 10.
Read Tuesday night’s news story, “Mansfield leads, but sheriff’s race undecided” here