Clallam County election worker Daniel Cain of Sequim consults a database of signatures to verify ballots on Aug. 3 at the courthouse in Port Angeles. Photo by Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group

Clallam County election worker Daniel Cain of Sequim consults a database of signatures to verify ballots on Aug. 3 at the courthouse in Port Angeles. Photo by Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group

2021 Primary Election: Candidates draw early leads in hospital, school board, fire district races

A candidate for Sequim School Board who dropped out of the race not long after she filed is leading after initial returns in the Clallam County 2021 Primary Election Tuesday evening.

Kristi Schmeck has 2,568 votes, or 29.1 percent of ballots cast, with Virginia R. Sheppard in second with 2,475 (28.1 percent) in second and Rachel Tax in third with 2,347 votes (26.6 percent). Derek Huntington, with 1,409 votes (15.9 percent), was fourth after the initial count. The race was in both the Jefferson County and Clallam County ballots, with Tax earning the most Jefferson County votes (31), followed by Schmeck (26), Sheppard (19) and Huntington (18).

Lineups could change after the next counts of ballots in the primary election, which narrows to two the candidates for each position on the Nov. 2 ballot.

Only races that drew three or more hopefuls compete in a primary election.

In the race for an at-large seat on the Olympic Medical Center’s Hospital District 2 board, health care administrator Heather Jeffers earned 15,452 ballots cast for 56.9 percent, leading former Port Angeles mayor Karen Rogers (4,801 votes, 31.1 percent). Both appear headed for the November race. Steven C. Blackham has 1,832 votes (11.9 percent) so far.

In the Clallam County Fire District 3 commissioner race, Jeff Nicholas, with 5,202 total votes (56.4 percent), and Duane Chamlee, with 3,266 total votes (35.4 percent), have won the most votes so far for the Position 1 seat being vacated by Mike Gawley. Sean Ryan, who has sought a seat on the fire district commission before, had 725 total votes (7.9 percent) in the initial, multi-county count.

The voter turnout as of Tuesday night was 29.9 percent after 16,254 ballots were counted (out of 54,439). The next count will be on Wednesday.

Port Angeles, Forks City Council races

Appointee LaTrisha Suggs, with 1,786 votes (46.6 percent), and Adam Garica, with 1,596 votes (41.6 percent), appear headed for the Position 1 contest in the Nov. 2 general election. John DeBoer had 449 votes (11.7 percent) as of Tuesday evening.

Incumbent Mike French, with 2,171 votes (56.9 percent), and John Madden, with 1,355 votes (35.5 percent) seem to be set to vie in November for Position 2. Madden is supported by the conservative Independent Advisory Association based in Sequim in the non-partisan race. Samantha Rodahl has 292 votes (7.7 percent) thus far.

Position 3 on the Port Angeles City Council is working toward a pairing of incumbent Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin, with 1,603 (41.4percent) votes, against IAA candidate Jena Stamper, who has 1,447 votes (37.4percent). Jason Thompson had 817 votes (2112 percent) in the initial count.

Mayor Kate Dexter, with 2,053 votes (53.6 percent), will face IAA candidate John W. Procter, with 1,565 votes (40.9 percent), for Position 4. The third candidate, Jon Bruce, withdrew from the race but was too late to prevent his name being on the already printed ballot. He won 208 votes as of Tuesday evening.

In the race for the Position 2 seat on the Forks City Council that is being vacated by John Hillcar, Clinton W. Wood leads the three-candidate race with 218 votes (51.8 percent) Josef Echeita, 118 votes (31.5 percent)is second, and Barbara Neihouse, 34 votes (9.1 percent) was third.

In the lone Port Angeles School District race on the 2021 Primary ballot, Mary Hebert (2,284 votes, 36.4 percent) and Gabi Johnson (2,030 votes, 32.3 percent) were leading for the open Director Position 2 seat. Jesse Charles (1,574 votes, 25.1 percent) was third and Jean M. Stratton (380 votes, 6.1 percent) was fourth.

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