With the August primary a little more than a month away, three candidates pulled their hats from the competition early on.
Two school board candidates — Rebecca Bratsman and Willard Naslund for Sequim School District position No. 1, and Bill Wrobel for the proposed SARC Metropolitan Park District commissioner position No. 2 — either told the Gazette or wrote in their Clallam County candidate statement they don’t plan to campaign.
Clallam County Auditor Shoona Riggs said Bratsman and Naslund contacted her after the withdrawing period and still will appear on the Aug. 4 primary ballot.
“By law, I can’t take them off the ballot,” Riggs said.
She said they can write about withdrawing from their races in their candidate statement but not endorse other candidates.
Bratsman and Naslund were running against Robin Henrikson and incumbent Heather Jeffers for the 4-year term. Jeffers was appointed to the position last August.
Two of the four will advance to the Nov. 3 general election.
Naslund said he “withdrew from the school board candidacy because I have a health issue that may not allow me to provide adequate energy to a job that needs full time dedication.”
Bratsman said she withdrew after meeting with Henrikson and realized quickly they have a lot of similar views on the school district.
“Having two very similar candidates wouldn’t have given enough choice to the voters I felt,” she said. “I think that Robin would give a fresh perspective to the district while I turn my attention to serving the public in other ways.”
Elections Supervisor Ken Hugoniot said Wrobel, running against Ken Stringer for the proposed parks district board 6-year term, did not contact them during the withdrawing period but informed them through his candidate statement that reads, “I am no longer a candidate for commissioner, comments follow.”
“I didn’t feel I could give it the attention it needs given the severity of the financial and management situation,” Wrobel told the Gazette.
In 2013, Sequim School Board candidate John Yeo attempted to have his name taken off the ballot after the filing period unsuccessfully despite efforts contacting local and state leaders.
County auditors previously held that ability until state laws changed it.
Riggs said the only instance in which a candidate could be taken off the ballot after the deadline is if he or she is running unopposed and dies before the election.