Days after Illinois Sen. Barack Obama clinched the presumptive Democratic nomination for president and Arizona Sen. John McCain tallied his best month of fundraising to date for his presumptive Republican nomination to the seat, Clallam County finalized its list of candidates for county commissioner, Public Utility District commissioner and state and federal Legislature positions.
Filing is closed, everyone who has filed will make the ballot and there are no late filings this year, said Clallam County Auditor Patty Rosand after performing a lot drawing to determine candidate listings on the primary election ballot.
For the first time since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Washingtons top-two primary system, adopted by a 2004 citizen initiative, elections officials will allow candidates to self-describe their political preference, which does not imply party support for the candidate.
Party support will be identified in voters pamphlets to be printed before the Aug. 19 primary. For positions with multiple candidates, the two with the highest number of votes move on the to general Nov. 4 election, regardless of party affiliation.
For more information on the states election system, visit www.secstate.wa.gov. For a complete list of local candidate filings, visit www.clallam.net, click on departments and go to the county auditors page.
Not to be overshadowed by the election to fill the countrys top position is the election to fill one of the countys top positions, Clallam County commissioner.
Incumbent Mike Chapman filed for re-election to a third term in office. While a Republican for his first two terms, Chapman opted to file as an Independent after the local chapter of the party chastised him for supporting a Democrat in a 2007 election.
Im enjoying my time at the county, Chapman said. There have been times where I was frustrated with partisan issues but most of what the commissioners deal with is what is best
for the county, not a party-
A 36-year resident of the county, Republican Terry Roth said he is the best candidate for the position due to his law enforcement, business management and county experience. Roth was with the Sheriffs Office and twice has been elected to the Clallam County Charter Review Commission.
Being a good commissioner is like being a good manager, you learn that from experience, Roth said in a statement. There are only so many tax dollars available. (So we must) spend it wisely, get the best return on what you spend.
Democrat and attorney David Fox is running against Chapman on a platform of spending reform, pointing at criminal justice and economic issues.
Criminal filings are up in both District Courts and in Superior Courts and the Clallam County Public Defenders offices have never been busier, Fox said in a statement. As a family law and criminal law attorney who has had a first-degree murder case reach the U.S. Supreme Court, I am uniquely poised to consider how the money allocated to law and justice in the county might be spent more efficiently.
In other county elections, a seat on the Public Utility District Commission is up for grabs.
Incumbent Hugh Haffner, whos been a utility commissioner for 14 years, said he isnt done with the position.
Ive seen a lot of positive things happen through the Public Utility District, Haffner said. The Carlsborg sewer issue is coming along and weve won the suit with Bonneville power, so I want to be around to get the dollars working for our customers and make sure the sewer project moves forward.
Challenging Haffner are two Port Angeles men, Tom La Rosa and Bob Jensen.
Jensen is vice president of Angeles Communications, a telephone systems company. He has lived in Clallam County all of his life other than time in the military and for college.
Im just an average working person and I see myself as a someone who can contribute to the public utility system since I am part of the industry and part of the local community, Jensen said.
La Rosa works with the Clallam County Public Works Department in the roads division. The Gazette was unable to reach La Rosa before deadline.
Clallam County Superior Court Judges Ken Williams, George Wood and Brooke Taylor are unopposed for re-election to their positions.
Nearly all elected positions within the state government will be on the ballot.
Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire filed for re-election as the states leader. She is challenged by John Aiken of Medical Lake, Christopher Tudor of Indianola, James White of Marysville, Javier Lopez of Lacey and Dino Rossi of Bellevue.
State legislator positions for District 24, which covers the peninsula, are up for election as well.
Freshman Rep. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, is looking for re-election to his seat after his first term in office. Challenging Van De Wege is Republican Thomas Thomas, of Joyce.
Randy Dutton, R-Montesano, initially announced he would challenge Van De Wege but changed his bid to run against veteran Democrat Rep. Lynn Kessler, majority leader of the House of Representatives.
Jim Hargrove is running unopposed for state senator.
In the national Congress, Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Tacoma, is running for re-election against challengers Doug Cloud of Tacoma, Paul Richmond of Port Townsend and Gary Murrell of Hoquiam.
J. Robin Hunt, Clallam Countys representative in the state Court of Appeals, has filed for re-election to the seat while Tim Ford, an assistant attorney general, is challenging her spot.
Also to appear on the ballot are candidates for the state lieutenant governor, the secretary of state, the state treasurer, auditor, attorney general, commissioner of public lands, superintendent of public instruction, insurance commissioner and three state Supreme Court justice positions.
Filing is closed, everyone who has filed will make the ballot and there are no late filings this year.
Patty Rosand, Clallam County auditor
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