Despite sizable leads in the vote tally, petitioners behind measures to recall three Richland School Board members aren't ready to celebrate just yet.

Both Benton and Franklin Counties this afternoon released the second count of ballots from the August 1st Primary Election.  Around 2,500 votes were counted and there was little change in the measures to oust Audra Byrd, M. Semi Bird, and Kari Williams 

Supporters of the recall say the trio knowingly violated the law when they voted to go mask optional during the pandemic. 

Brian Brendel is one of the petitioners who brought up the legal part of the recall. He says the issue is not about the use of masks.

"It had everything to do with the violation of seizure related to the vote and violation of other processes and actions," Brendel said. "Any other topic with the same violations I would have had the same degree of concern and would have brought those concerns forward."

All three recall measures are getting about the 55% of the vote, well above the threshold to pass. Brendel says he didn't have any expectations before last night's vote tally.

"The recall process in the state of Washington is mature and well defined, although not exercised all that often. The bar for recall is set intentionally high to eliminate portions of a frivolous nature. However, due to the actions of these board members, that bar was easily cleared as determined by two separate courts, including the State Supreme Court." Brendel said.

And while the outcome looks promising for recall supporters, they understand anything can happen with thousands of votes still to count.

"It looks like a pretty good spread so far," Brendel added. "I haven't popped the cork out of any champagne bottles just yet. But statistically, the numbers do look favorable."

Here are the latest numbers from today's 4:00 release.


CITY OF PROSSER Mayor Total Votes Vote % 
Gary Vegar 45552.91%
Randy Taylor 238 27.67%
Harold Lewis 166 19.3%
WRITE-IN 1 0.12% 
CITY OF RICHLAND Council Pos. 6   
Marc Newman 2,816 25.25% 
Kent Madsen 2,890 25.91% 
Kurt H. Maier 5,378 48.22%
WRITE-IN 69 0.62% 
PORT OF BENTON-DIST 2 Commissioner District 2  
Christy Rasmussen 1,725 46.84% 
Cliff Dyer 515 13.98% 
Scott D. Keller 1,437 39.02% 
WRITE-IN 0.16% 
Nino Kapitula 4,347 27.79% 
Tony Gonzalez 2,872 18.36% 
Chelsie Beck 8,324 53.21% 
WRITE-IN 100 0.64% 
Kari Williams 4,285 27.37% 
Aaron C. Riggs 3,755 23.99% 
Katrina Waters 7,555 48.26% 
WRITE-IN  59 0.38% 
Gene Nemeth 6,160 39.36% 
Jill Oldson 8,825 56.38% 
Matthew J. Bishop 595 3.8% 
WRITE-IN 72 0.46% 
RICHLAND SCHOOL DISTRICT 400 Richland School District, Position 1 Recall   
Recall Yes 8,751 55.42% 
Recall No 7,039 44.58% 
RICHLAND SCHOOL DISTRICT 400 Richland School District, Position 3 Recall   
Recall Yes 8,782 55.57% 
Recall No 7,022 44.43% 
RICHLAND SCHOOL DISTRICT 400 Richland School District, Position 4 Recall   
Recall Yes 8,624 54.58% 
Recall No 7,177 45.42% 


Franklin County 

CITY OF CONNELL Councilmember, At Large, Position 5 Total Votes  Vote %  
Preston Hart 135 52.33% 
Patrice Hebel 61 23.64% 
Stephanie Hallman 57 22.09% 
WRITE-IN 1.92% 
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