Yelm Voters Elect Joe DePinto as Next Mayor

By Daniel Warn / dan@yelmonline.com
Posted 11/9/21

Yelm voters selected Yelm City Councilmember Joe DePinto as the city’s next mayor with around 71% of the vote in his favor.

With 1,278 votes counted as of Nov. 9, preliminary election results show...

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Yelm Voters Elect Joe DePinto as Next Mayor

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Yelm voters selected Yelm City Councilmember Joe DePinto as the city’s next mayor with around 71% of the vote in his favor.

With 1,278 votes counted as of Nov. 9, preliminary election results show DePinto with a dominating lead against his opponent Dennise Butler, who secured 358 votes. Butler managed to secure 28% of the ballots.

There were 13 write-in votes counted, for 1%, according to the Thurston County Auditor’s Office.

Voter turnout in Yelm, as of Nov. 8, amounted to 27.62% of the city’s registered voters, far below the county’s rate of 35.23%.

“It’s been a low-key, but fascinating, election,” DePinto said. “Framing the results, I was a little disappointed that we had such a low voter-turnout. … Best case scenario, there’s about 35% of our eligible voters that are deciding these elections.”

With that being said, he added Yelm voters did their research before casting their ballots.

“Almost all of the Yelm races vary quite a bit in their winning percentages,” DePinto said. “It tells me that people aren’t voting for any slate or grouping. They were doing their own research and coming to their own conclusions. I love seeing that.”

He said he is appreciative of the faith Yelm voters have put in him.

“I was really humbled on election night,” DePinto said. “To be elected mayor of my hometown, it means a lot to me. I grew up here and watched the city transform tremendously over these last three decades.”



He said Yelm is currently at a crossroads of growth.

“We are at such a crucial point in Yelm’s history,” DePinto said. “We hit (10,000) just recently in population and we’re projected to keep growing at a very fast pace.”

He said he thinks constantly of what the city will look like in 20 years.

“While I’m looking for solutions to yesterday’s problems and today’s current issues, I’m looking at the future and planning for the future,” DePinto said. “I hope more of my efforts go toward the future. … I hope people recognize that I’m building for the future, not just for today.”

He said the traffic issues in Yelm have been ongoing for quite some time, so one of the top two issues he wants to focus on is the city’s traffic congestion.

DePinto said he also wants to focus on public safety and ensure the police department is fully staffed with adequate resources. He said he plans to have two officers on duty at all times.

“I just want to say thank you to all of the voters that voted me in,” DePinto said. “This is a pretty good amount that I got. To me that means it’s a mandate, a mandate to get things done.”

The next ballot count is scheduled to occur at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 10.

The Thurston County Auditor’s Office will certify the election results on Tuesday, Nov. 23.

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