LONG BEACH — A mandatory recount is coming next week for a Long Beach City Council race that is as close as it can be after the final ballot update from county election officials on Tuesday morning.

Patrick Reddy leads Karla Jensen in the contest by a single vote, 228-227, triggering a mandatory manual recount of the race.

Per Washington state law, a manual recount is required for non-statewide races when the difference between the top two candidates is less than 150 votes and also less than .25% of the total votes cast for both candidates. Reddy leads Jensen by .21%, 49.24-49.03%, while write-in votes account for the remaining 1.73%.

Pacific County Auditor Joyce Kidd confirmed to the Observer that her office will be conducting a hand recount for the race next Monday morning, Nov. 29, at the Pacific County Courthouse in South Bend. Due to covid-19 restrictions, only the candidates and one person of their choosing, as well as two city officials, will be allowed to attend the recount in person, Kidd said. The recount will be streamed live at tinyurl.com/3bxa5hpd.

Reddy had trailed in the race when initial results were released on Election Day, Nov. 2, with Jensen ahead 161-136 (as well as three write-in votes). The margin of Jensen’s lead was cut significantly, from 25 to 3 votes, following an update on Nov. 5 which broke Reddy’s way 74-52 (with four additional write-in votes).

Reddy took the apparent lead in the race after the final update on Nov. 23, which saw an additional 33 ballots be tallied. Those ballots broke Reddy’s way as well, 18-14 (with one more additional write-in vote).

Reddy is an Air Force veteran and owner of 360 Apartments and Green Carpet Cleaning. Jensen is president of the Long Beach Merchants Association and owner of the Mermaid Inn & RV Park.

In the other contested Long Beach City Council race, George Coleman notched a decisive win over Richard Vincent. Coleman, a musician and retired software architect, won the race with 67.3% of the vote, compared to 30.9% for Vincent, a U-Haul dealer and owner of All Safe Mini-Storage.

In Ilwaco’s mayoral contest, former two-term mayor Mike Cassinelli unseated his successor, incumbent Mayor Gary Forner. Cassinelli won the race with 55.8% of the vote, compared to Forner’s 42.6%.

With 7,723 ballots tabulated across all of Pacific County, turnout in the 2021 general election finished at 45.2% in the county — up from 42.6% turnout in 2017. Statewide, turnout currently sits at 39.3%, up from 37.1% four years ago.

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