More than a month after the November election where he narrowly lost a seat in the Washington State Legislature to Steve Tharinger, Jim McEntire said he still is catching up on his sleep.
“I really did enjoy immensely the political clash of ideas,” the Port of Port Angeles commissioner and retired Coast Guard captain said in reflection. “If you have a clear exposition of different ideas, the voters really have a good choice to make.”
McEntire lost the 24th Legislative District Position 2 seat to Tharinger, a Clallam County commissioner, by 2,873 votes, but won Clallam County by 1,160 votes.
‘A mad scramble’
McEntire, a Sequim resident, said he hadn’t been thinking about running for any office other than port commissioner until Rep. Lynn Kessler, D-Hoquiam, announced her retirement.
McEntire said looking back he realizes he needed to start his campaign earlier than he did.
“I knew about three people in Grays Harbor County,” he said.
His campaign also lacked big party funding, he said.
“I wasn’t recruited by the Republican Caucus,” he said. “Being known by those who could provide support was a major difficulty.”
McEntire’s campaign received $65,000 in campaign contributions. Tharinger received $141,000 in campaign contributions.
“To get as close as I did, 47 percent, was not a bad turnout for a mad scramble from the beginning,” McEntire said.
While McEntire didn’t say he planned to run for another office soon, he won’t rule it out either.
“I’m 60 years old,” he said. “I give myself another good 10 years of something.”
Public officials get the opportunity to try to solve problems and make life better for people, he said.
McEntire said another run at politics depends on what the issues are, what the configuration of the district is and if turnout will be favorable but it won’t be serving on a national level.
“I have spent way too many years in Washington, D.C., I’m not looking to go back,” he said.
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