Early results show Chapman to face Roth in election

The second count is in for the Clallam County commissioner race and the new results hardly change the initial outcome from the state's first top two primary count on Aug. 19.

Republican Terry Roth, who placed second in the primary, will face incumbent Mike Chapman, who was a Republican in his past two successful campaigns but chose the Independent label for 2008.

As of 6 p.m. Aug. 21, Roth had received 1,255 votes, or 27.5 percent, of the ballots counted from District 2, the Port Angeles area. Chapman received 2,322 votes, or 50.9 percent.

Democrat David Fox came in third about six points behind Roth, receiving 985 votes, or 21.6 percent.

For the first time, Washington state voters participated in a top-two primary, which allowed only the top two vote winners to move on to the general election, with some exceptions in judicial races.

The new system could have resulted in two candidates of the same party being listed on the November ballot had Chapman kept his Republican Party tag.

Chapman chose to run as an Independent for his third term because he lost the county Republican Party chapter's support after endorsing Democrat and fellow commissioner Steve Tharinger in 2007.

"I feel the votes I've received are indicative of the job I've been doing and that the commission has been doing to manage the county, rather than indicative of a party label," said Chapman, who often points out that many issues facing the commissioners do not follow party lines.

Roth, who has not challenged Chapman's Republican roots but rather his record, said he was very satisfied with the results, indicating that half the district did not vote for the incumbent.

"That kind of narrow margin means I need to do a lot of work to win over voters in the other two districts, as this election goes countywide after the primary," Roth said. "I think I can even pick up some Democrat votes because of the management style I'm promoting."

Roth said his main concern is financial responsibility as America and Clallam County enter tough economic times.

"I'm going to be pulling for a better work force, employment opportunities and business retention and recruitment plans," said Roth, president of the Port Angeles Downtown Association and a business owner. "And if (Dino) Rossi gets elected to governor, I hope to work with a new state management system to actively market the peninsula and work with legislators to address the (business and operation) tax."

Chapman is sending out a message of stability. He said the county is in good financial shape, is out of debt and has many recent and upcoming transportation and infrastructure improvements.

"As this campaign goes countywide, I will continue to talk about good fiscal policy, infrastructure improvements and my efforts to increase public safety," Chapman said Aug. 20. "I recently spoke with hundreds of people at the (Clallam County) fair and got a lot of really great feedback and some great ideas for the county. I really look forward to taking these to the table."

Only those in the Port Angeles area voted in the primary. The entire county, however, will vote in the general election.

For a complete listing of election results, visit www. and go to the auditor's page.

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