Incumbents in nearly all local races held their seats in the Nov. 6 Clallam County general election, including those for Clallam County commissioner, prosecuting attorney, sheriff and director of community development.
Two of three Sequim-area measures — Clallam Fire District 3’s levy lid lift and the City of Sequim’s Transportation Benefit District levy — both passed while the Sequim Library expansion proposition failed to meet a supermajority to pass.
The Clallam County Auditor’s Office counted about 35,580 ballots out of the 52,674 ballots ballots issued to registered voters for a voter turnout of 67.6 percent.
The next count of ballots in the all-mail election was scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 13, with an estimated 3,900 ballots left to count. The election is certified Nov. 27.
Sheriff Bill Benedict, 68, of Sequim, has a commanding lead versus challenger Jim McLaughlin, 61, of Port Angeles, with 71.7 percent of ballots cast (22,922 to 9,039).
Prosecuting attorney Mark Nichols, 46, defeated challenger Selinda Barkhuis, 56, with 58.2 percent of votes cast. Nichols, a Port Angeles Republican, earned his second term over Barkhuis, a former Clallam County treasurer who lives in Port Angeles and filed with no party preference.
Bill Peach, 63, a Republican from Beaver, appearslikely to keep his Clallam County commissioner seat for a second term against former commissioner Mike Doherty Jr., 75, a Port Angeles Democrat, with 53.1 percent of ballots cast. The district extends from west Port Angeles to Neah Bay.
Director of Community Development Mary Ellen Winborn, 58, of Port Angeles, retained her position with 62.3 percent of ballots cast in her race against challenger Julie Gardiner, 61, of Sequim.
Dave Neupert, 63, has an edge (51.4 percent) over Suzanne Hayden, 62, for the District Court 1 judgeship heading into the final count. The two Port Angeles attorneys are vying for the judgeship vacated by Rick Porter over the district which stretches from Blyn to west of Lake Crescent.
Challanger Jim Waddell, 65, has a slight lead over longtime incumbent Ted Simpson, 76, in the District 3 seat of the Clallam County Public Utility District with 50.9 percent of ballots cast. Simpson has served for 33 years representing the district that extends to the West End. The entire county votes with the exception of Port Angeles, in the election.
John Black, 67, was a few votes ahead of Erik Rohrer, 60, in the race for the District Court 2 judgeship (927-912). Both residents of the Forks area are vying for the seat vacated by John Doherty. The district extends from west of Lake Crescent to Neah Bay.
City, fire district
Two propositions for expansion of the Sequim Library at 630 N. Sequim Ave., have a majority of tallies after the initial count on Nov. 6 and a second count on Nov. 9, but Proposition 2 — the measure that would fund the expansion — is short of the 60 percent supermajority requirement with 58.5 percent.
Proposition 1, which requires only a simple majority for passage and would create the Sequim Library Capital Facilities Area tax district with about the same boundaries as the Sequim School District, is receiving a little more than 65 percent of ballots cast. Proposition 2 would have financed expansion by allowing issuance of up to $12.4 million in general obligation bonds.
Clallam County Fire District 3’s levy lid lift proposal gained voters’ approval with 60.4 percent yes votes after a Nov. 9 ballot count. Approval only requires a majority vote of 50 percent plus one.
A proposal to renew sales and use tax levy for the Sequim Transportation Benefit District earned approval from city residents with 77.9 percent of the ballots cast; the measure requires a simple majority of 50 percent plus one vote to pass.
Legislative races, initiatives
In the Legislative District 24 Position 1 race, Mike Chapman, 55, a Port Angeles Democrat, emerged victorious in his bid for a second term against challenger Jodi Wilke, 59, a Port Townsend Republican, with about 58 percent of the vote. He was winning in Clallam (55.1 percent) and Jefferson (69.6 percent) counties and trailing by about a half-percent in Grays Harbor County.
With 55.9 percent of ballots cast for the seat, the Position 2 incumbent — Steve Tharinger, 69, a Port Townsend Democrat — won in his bid for a fifth term against challenger Jim McEntire, 68, a Sequim Republican. Tharinger was winning Jefferson County (69.1 percent) and Clallam County (51.6 percent), but not in Grays Harbor County (48.1 percent).
In the race for Congressional District 6 seat, incumbent Derek Kilmer, 44, a Gig Harbor Democrat, secured his fourth term in the race against challenger Douglas Dightman, 48, a Shelton Republican. Kilmer had 63.4 percent of the vote. District 6 includes the North Olympic Peninsula.
U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, 60, an Edmonds Democrat, will keep her seat for a fourth term against challenger Susan Hutchison, 64, a Seattle Republican. Cantwell had 58.6 percent of more than 2.8 million ballots cast.
Voters approved a number of state initiatives, including Initiative 940, which would require law enforcement officers to receive violence de-escalation, mental health and first aid training (59.5 percent yes votes); the gun control measure, Initiative 1639 (59.8 percent), and Initiative 1634 (55.5 percent yes votes), which would prohibit new or increased local taxes, fees or assessments on raw or processed food or beverages unless they were effective by Jan.15 of this year or were generally applicable.