Election filings just around corner

Thinking of running for office? Better tie up those laces, cross those T’s and dot those I’s because the filing period for candidacy is only five days long.

Applications for candidacy must go through the county auditor between the dates of June 2-6, which may be more than a month away but hasn’t stopped some candidates from preparing.

Clallam County voters will see many public office openings in the 2008 ballots, including county commissioner and Clallam Public Utility District commissioners, and state-level legislative seats and the governorship.

While most incumbents have shown interest in re-election, only one is officially challenged, Rep. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, after his first term in the state Legislature.

On April 14, Montesano Republican Randy Dutton announced his candidacy for state representative, running under a platform of increasing high technology infrastructure, restoring fiscal discipline and expanding on domestic energy resources.

“A one-size-fits-all approach to regulations isn’t good for Washington and it certainly isn’t good for the foresters, loggers and farmers of the Olympic Peninsula,” Dutton said. “The mandatory inclusion of ethanol in our fuel is just one example of a policy that, while well-meaning, is having disastrous consequences.”

Also, in early 2008, Joyce Republican Thomas Thomas announced he would run against Van De Wege, stating the legislator’s duel commitments to his political career and his firefighting career take away from his competency in the state Legislature.

“Being an effective legislator involves more than just being in session for 60 days and getting on a couple of committees,” Thomas said. “It requires the financial stability to be able to work at the post full time, year-round, which I am able to do.”

Van De Wege sits on the Agricultural and Natural Resources Committee, the Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government and Audit Review, the Technology Energy and Communications Committee and the Joint Committee on Veterans’ and Military Affairs. He said he has gained the experience to continue providing locally beneficial input and legislation in the House.

“This isn’t an easy job, it involves a lot of hours in and out of session to get things accomplished and I couldn’t be happier about the commitment I’ve made,” Van De Wege said. “I got into both firefighting and politics because they were tough positions that I knew I could work hard in to better service my community.”

All candidates will appear on the Aug. 19 state primary, which will be delivered in the top-two-election style. The top-two vote winners will move on to the general election, regardless of party affiliation.

More can be found about Dutton at his Web site, To find more information about Van De Wege, visit his site at Thomas does not have information online.

Rep. Lynn Kessler, D-Hoquiam, and Sen. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam, have both declared candidacy and no challengers have come forward yet.


A high profile county race will be for the Clallam County Board of Commissioners seat occupied by Mike Chapman, R-Port Angeles, who has expressed an intention to run for a third term.

He recently decided to run as a Republican, although the local chapter of the party chastised him for supporting a candidate from the Democratic Party in the 2007 Clallam County commissioner race.

Chapman may find himself challenged by both a Republican and Democrat, but neither party has an official candidate.

Port Angeles Republican Terry Roth has expressed interest in the position. Roth is president of the Port Angeles Downtown Business Association and is operator of the Northwest Duty Free store.

In utility leadership, Hugh Haffner has been on the Clallam County Public Utility District Commission for 14 years. He said he will likely run for another six-year term to take care of unfinished business, such as the Carlsborg sewer project and proper restitution from the Bonneville Power Administration civil suit.

In Clallam County’s Superior Court, all three judges up for re-election have indicated interest in running, although none has filed.

Box: The 2008 election’s important dates,

taken from, include:

• May 3, 10 – First and last days for minor party or independent candidates to hold a nominating convention.

• May 17 – Last day for submission of nominating petitions from minor party or independent candidates.

• May 27 – Last day to file a resolution for a special election held in conjunction with the Aug. 19 primary.

• June 2, 6 – First and last day for all candidates to file for office.

• June 12 – Last day to submit referendum petitions.

• June 13 – Last day for major political parties to fill vacancies on a major party ticket.

• July 3 – Last day to file petition signatures for initiatives to the people.

• July 19 – Last day for mail-in and online voter registrations and transfers for the Aug. 19 primary.

• Aug. 19 – State primary.

• Sept. 3 – County canvassing board to certify Aug. 19 primary results.

• Oct. 4 – Last day for mail-in and online voter registrations and transfers for Nov. 4 general election.

• Oct. 20 – Last day for in-person registration for voters not registered in Washington state for the Nov. 4 general election.

• Nov. 4 – General election.

• Nov. 25 – County canvassing board certifies Nov. 4 results.

Box: Positions with terms ending Dec. 31, 2008,

relating to Clallam County include:

Congress District 6

• U.S. Representative – Norm Dicks, D-Wash.

Legislature District 24

• State Representative – Lynn Kessler, D-Hoquiam

• State Representative – Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim

• State Senator – Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam


• Governor - Christine Gregoire, D-Wash.

• Lt. Governor – Brad Owen, D-Wash.

• Attorney General – Robert McKenna, R-Wash.

• Commissioner of Public Lands – Douglas Sutherland, R-Wash.

• Secretary of State – Sam Reed, R-Wash.

• Superintendent of Public Instruction – Teresa Bergeson

• Auditor – Brian Sonntag


• State Supreme Court Justice – Mary Fairhurst

• State Supreme Court Justice – Charles Johnson

• State Supreme Court Justice – Bobbe Bridge

• Court of Appeals, Div. 1, Dist. 2 – Joyce Robin Hunt

• Clallam Superior Court – Kenneth Williams

• Clallam Superior Court – George Wood

• Clallam Superior Court – Brooke Taylor


• County Commissioner – Mike Chapman, R-Port Angeles

• Public Utility District Commissioner – Hugh Haffner

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