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McEntire leads in commissioner race, Sequim City Council incumbents ahead
Sequim Gazette staff
Jim McEntire has a lead in the race for one of the three elected county commission seats while Sequim City Council incumbents look like they will hold on to their positions after Tuesday night’s general election ballot count.
McEntire, 61, the Republican candidate for Clallam County Commissioner District 1, holds an early lead in the race with a 52-48 margin, garnering 8,830 votes to Barnfather’s 8,130. McEntire is a Port of Port Angeles commissioner and retired Coast Guard captain.
“I am grateful and honored the votes have, at least at first reading, elected me to county commissioner — but there are many ballots left to count.”
Democrat Linda Barnfather, 49, a legislative assistant and property manager, said she remains optimistic.
“It’s just too close to call,” she said Tuesday night. “It’s still wide-open.”
Johnson holds large lead for school board
In the lone competitive Sequim School Board race, incumbent Walt Johnson with 4,165 votes has nearly 1,000 more votes than Stephen Rosales, the Sequim Food Bank board president, (3,172 votes) for Position 5.
Johnson said he has no immediate plans on the board except to continue doing what he’s been doing.
“The superintendent put in his resignation, so we’ll start a selection process,” he said.
Rosales said he intends to stay active with the food bank and begin a more active campaign for fundraising for the school district.
Incumbents lead in city council races
Incumbent Erik Erichsen, a retired government employee, with 766 votes holds the closest margin with political newcomer and businessman Pete Duncan with 695 votes in the Sequim City Council Position 1 race.
Erichsen could not be reached for comment. In debates and interviews, Erichsen said he’s running in order to continue what the current council is trying to accomplish, including determining a future for the Guy Cole Convention Center in Carrie Blake Park and to help clarify city codes.
Laura Dubois, incumbent for Position 2 and Mayor Pro-Tem, a retired business analyst, seems on track for a second term with 878 votes over newcomer John Miller, a retired Safeway worker, who has 652 votes.
Dubois said her first focus is to speak with other councilors about the results of the citizens’ surveys and make their priorities the city’s priority. Some of her long-term goals include updating the comprehensive plan, which includes the zoning code. Another priority is working on streets.
“With funds from the Transportation Benefit District and impact fees, hopefully we can take care of our streets more,” she said.
Vying for City Council Position 7, now held by Susan Lorenzen, first-time candidate Candace Pratt, a retired bookkeeper and former League of Women Voters leader, with 965 votes looks to take the top spot over Eric Miller, another first-time candidate, with 470 votes. Pratt said one of her priorities is updating the Comprehensive Plan. She’s eager to participate in a session with the Association of Washington Cities, which is a program for new councilors on the city council’s process. “Just learning the ropes is a great beginning,” Pratt said.
Eric Miller said he conceded the race in October after a debate to Pratt because she was running such a good campaign.
Incumbents lead in Hospital Commission races
John Nutter, 40, a Port Angeles police officer and former financial manager for Olympic Medical Center, was well ahead of challenger Jack Slowriver in the race for Clallam County Hospital District Commissioner District 2 Position 1.
“I am looking forward to making OMC the best it can be,” Nutter said.
Opponent Jeanne LaBrecque, 63, a former nurse and health systems strategy director at The Regence Group, trails by more than 1,600 votes.
“I think he’ll do a fine job,” LaBrecque said of Nutter. “I look forward to finding another way to serve.”
In the race for District 3 Position 2, John Miles, the incumbent, was leading by nearly a 3-2 margin (59 percent to 41 percent). Miles, 81, is a retired hospital administrator and physician.
“I feel very happy,” Miles said Tuesday evening. “I’ve enjoyed … (the) two years I’ve been on the commission and I want it to continue. It looks like it will.”
Jack Slowriver, 34, a health care administrator and director of area services for Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, was unavailable for comment.
Richardson, Griffith lead in SARC races
Jan L. Richardson appears to be the winner in the race for Clallam County Parks & Recreation District 1’s (SARC) Commissioner Position No. 5, holding a 60 percent to 40 percent lead after Tuesday’s count.
Richardson said he’d like to give the new director, Taylor McDonald, more leeway to lead.
“She knows what she’s doing,” Richardson said of McDonald. “She knows how to run a business.”
Richardson said the need for change at SARC is urgent.
“Last year the place lost $60,000. This year it may lose $120,000. They have to have more butts in there.”
Melinda Griffith is leading in the race for Position 3 on the SARC board. Initial results released showed Griffith with 5,275 votes (89.5 percent) to write-in candidate Bill Black’s 617 votes (10.4 percent).
Griffith is an incumbent, having served on the board since about 1975. She remarked that she had a number of supporters who said they didn’t bother to vote for her since she had no opponent listed.
“From now on, I’ll vote even if the person is unopposed,” Griffith said. “This election has certainly been a good civics lesson for me.”