Incumbent Clallam County Commissioner Mark Ozias almost made it through filing week without drawing an opponent for the Nov. 5 general election.
But late in the afternoon on May 17 — the last day of candidate registration — Brandon Janisse, Sequim City Council member and county employee, filed for Ozias’ Sequim-area District 1 position.
Janisse’s candidacy was posted on the county Auditor’s Office website at 3:34 p.m., with 56 minutes left for candidates to register in person.
Janisse was the second-to-last of 116 candidates who filed for 56 elective boards with open positions in Clallam County.
The county commissioner general election race is confined to Sequim-area District 1 voters, a restriction for all three board positions that may be reviewed in 2020 by the soon-to-be elected Charter Review Commission, longtime member Norma Turner has said.
The election slate includes six Aug. 6 primary contests that will send the top two vote-getters to the general election.
Primary ballots will be mailed to voters in little more than eight weeks, on July 17.
Forty candidates filed for 15 Charter Review Commission seats. The top five vote-getters in each of three county commissioner districts will win positions on the 15-person commission.
Janisse, 34, a county jail control-room technician, filed as a Republican against Ozias, a one-term Democrat, for the only partisan race in the election.
“While I’d love to continue with the city, I think I could be more helpful with the county side,” the Idaho native, a Sequim resident since 1999, said last week.
“The opioid crisis continues to spin out of control,” said Janisse, who is a foster parent with his wife, Megan.
“Homelessness is not being addressed,” he said. “There are a lot of things that can be addressed at the county level.”
Janisse, who lost a Sequim City Council position to Pam Leonard-Ray in 2015, ran unopposed in November 2017 for the City Council Position 5 seat he has served on since January 2018.
His term ends in December 2021.
Ozias, 48 and former director of the Sequim Food Bank, is completing his first term as county commissioner.
He said last week that he had met Janisse several times and interacted with him informally on a City Council member-county commissioner level but had no idea Janisse was seeking to unseat him.
“I welcome him to the race,” Ozias said.
Ozias, a Baltimore native who grew up in the Denver area, owned two businesses with his wife, Lisa, and served on the Sequim Planning Commission in 2005 before his election in 2015. They moved to Sequim in 2004.
If re-elected, Ozias said he will focus on Integrated Managed Care, which coordinates physical and mental health with substance abuse treatment.
Ozias also would work with the county Department of Community Development on “aggressively reviewing land use planning as related to the (Olympic Discovery Trail),” he said.
Janisse said his late filing was a matter of economics, not pre-planning. It had to do with the filing fee of $764.25, the highest among all but Superior Court judge among offices up for election.
“Seven-hundred sixty bucks is hard to come by,” Janisse said.
Other election races
Other primary races include Warren Pierce, Nate Adkisson and Ann Marie Henninger, vying for the Hospital District 2-Olympic Medical Center seat held by John Beitzel, who is not running for re-election.
Other two-way races on the November ballot include Jean Hordyk against Ted Bowen, Hospital District 2-OMC board, and Jim Stoffer against Beth Smithson and Eric A. Pickens vs. Charles W. Smith III, Sequim School Board;Sequim-area Fire District 3 Commissioner James Barnfather running against challenger William (Bill) Miano, and Park and Recreation District 1 (Sequim Aquatic Recreation Center) incumbent Jan. L. Richardson is running against J. Mike Rudd.
Sequim-area Charter Review Commission District 1 candidates are Jim Stoffer, Ted Miller, Stephen Landess, Donald Hatler, Tony Corrado, David Lotzgesell, Gary DeKorte, Alex Fane, Sue Erzen, Candace Pratt and Judith Parker.
The list of candidates who have filed for office is at tinyurl.com/PDN-ClallamCandidates.