Barnfather, McAleer lead going into general election

Sequim Gazette staff

Top candidates for the commissioner seats with the Port of Port Angeles and Fire District 3 take large leads going into the Nov. 5 general election.


Colleen McAleer holds the top votes in the port’s commissioner district No. 1 seat with 3,991 votes at 59.3 percent.


She’ll go head-to-head with Del DelaBarre who holds 1,699 votes at 25.2 percent over Incumbent Paul McHugh, 1,044 votes, 15.5 percent.


Incumbent James Barnfather looks to hold his position for another six years in the Fire District 3 Commissioner Position 3 race.


He has 4,538 votes at 62.3 percent and looks to oppose Sean Ryan with 1,556 votes, 21.4 percent. Charles Perdomo took in 1,185 votes at 16.3 percent.


Fire District race

Barnfather, a retired fire service professional, said he’s going to continue to do the best job he can to serve citizens in the way that has been recognized by the majority of the voters in the fire district.


“My focus will remain on my current position as fire commissioner,” he said. “I look forward to approval from our citizens in the coming election.”


His opponent Ryan, a local business owner and volunteer firefighter, said the results of the primary aren’t surprising.


“Running against an incumbent is always hard,” he said.


From now until November, Ryan said he intends to take his message to the people.


“I want to save the taxpayers money, manage the resources we do have carefully and improve our service to the community while staying within the budget,” he said.


Port of P.A. race

DelaBarre said he was pleased to be in the runoff for a seat on the Port of Port Angeles Commission, but added that now “we have to push the reset button.”


DelaBarre said he made a conscious decision not to spend money on the primary, but at this point fundraising has become a priority. “We were pretty sure we had a lead on Paul (McHugh),” he said. “The end-game at that point was to get through the primary.”


“Now we need to put together some coalitions and find some funding sources.”


DelaBarre said he doesn’t expect to catch his opponent, Colleen McAleer, who leads in fundraising. “She’s good and she has a lot of strong supporters,” he said.


He said he’s going to hit the street to meet the voters and share his message. “It doesn’t do any good to criticize the past,” he said, “We need to get out our message about what is possible at the port. I believe I can win this election.”


McAleer was unavailable for comment.


General election

These two races go to the general election with multiple other positions. Those include:


• Clallam County Hospital District No. 2
Commissioner District No. 1, Position 1: Incumbent John Beitzel, unopposed
Commissioner District No. 1, Position 2: Incumbent Tom Oblak unopposed

Commission District No. 2, Position 2: Incumbent Jean Hordyk, Heather Jeffers


• City of Sequim City Council
Council Position No. 3: Incumbent Ted Miller, Brandon Janisse
Council Position No. 4: Incumbent Dennis Smith, unopposed

Council Position No. 5: Incumbent Genaveve Starr, unopposed


• Sequim School District
Director District No. 2: Michael Howe, unopposed

Director at Large, Position No. 4: Incumbent Beverly Horan, John Clark Yeo. He has indicated his intent not to take the position if elected.


• Park/Recreation District 1 (SARC)
Commission Position No. 1: Sherry Nagel, unopposed

Commission Position No. 2: Incumbent Frank Pickering, Adam Sullivan


• Water District Sunland

Commissioner Position 1: Incumbent Jim Larison, unopposed.


Low turnout
Voter turnout for the primary was at 28.9 percent with 11,866 of 41,106 registered voters casting a ballot.
Looking back 15 years, similar voter turnout occurred in a few other primaries in the August 2009 primary election with a 32.1 percent turnout for one race for the City of Port Angeles City Council, the 2007 primary at 38.3 percent with one race for Superior Court Judge Position 3, September 2005 primary at 35.4 percent with four races, and in 2001 at 31.4 percent with five races including a port and fire commissioner position. The primary election will be certified on Aug. 20.

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