SOUTH BEND - New officials are certain to take charge of four of Pacific County's top elected positions following voting in last week's Primary Election.

Two incumbents who were running for re-election will apparently not return to the Courthouse in January. Ida Taylor, county assessor who is herself retiring, announced new vote totals Friday. There are still 30 outstanding votes which are unlikely to affect the outcome. The election must be certified Friday, Sept. 27.

David Burke is ahead by 152 votes in his campaign to unseat Mike Smith as Pacific County prosecuting attorney.

The latest Primary Election count shows him with 2,464 votes to Smith's 2,312.

Burke presently is Pacific County legislative and technical assistant with the Pacific County Department of General Administration, in addition to performing a variety of other jobs for the county. No Republicans are running for the post, so Burke will appear alone on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Smith became prosecuting attorney in January 1995 and was re-elected in 1998.

Four-term incumbent Pacific County Treasurer Robert Monohon is 63 votes behind Long Beach resident Tracy Shawa, who is making her first bid for political office. Both are Democrats.

Friday's count has Shawa at 2,022 and Monohon at 1,959. Republican Brady Turner will face the winner Nov. 5.

Two candidates unopposed in the primary will face off in the November General Election for county assessor. Bruce Walker, the Democrat, garnered 53.6 percent of primary ballots to Republican Lisa Olsen's 46.3 percent. Incumbent Jerry Porter decided not to seek another term.

Likewise, Democrat incumbent County Commissioner Pat Hamilton was unopposed in the primary and will face Republican Wayne Estes in November. In last week's voting, Hamilton received 70 percent of votes cast to Estes' 30 percent.

Unopposed in either the Primary or General Elections are County Clerk Virginia Leach, Sheriff John Didion and long-time auditor's office employee Pat Gardner, who will take over the top job with Taylor's retirement.

The county voted heavily Democratic in the races for Congress and the Legislature, favoring incumbent U.S. Rep. Brian Baird over challenger Joseph Zarelli 71 percent to 29 percent, although the race won't be decided for sure until November.

Incumbent state legislators Brian Hatfield and Mark Doumit each won about 70 percent of ballots, to their opponents' 30 percent.

Voter turnout in the county was about 44 percent, with 5,437 of the county's 12,390 registered voters casting ballots.

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