Elections 2023: Sequim school board primary races set

It’s going to be a competitive election season, as primary races are now set for the Sequim area.

With a majority of seats on the Sequim School board and Sequim City Council up for election, all but two positions are contested and three of four school board races will go to the Aug. 1 primary ballot.

Candidates filed in-person and online, May 15-19.

Races with more than three candidates and some partisan races will appear in the Primary Election, set for Aug. 1.

The top two from those and other races, along with state and local ballot measures, appear in the General Election, set for Nov. 7.

Clallam County Elections Manager Susan Johnson said nonpartisan races with less than two candidates will not appear on the Primary ballot, but will appear on the General Election ballot.

The Park and Recreation and Water Districts don’t have primaries, Johnson said, so the contest for Position 3 on the Sequim Community Recreation Center (Clallam County Parks & Recreation District 1) among incumbent Dick Neal, Jason Bushman and Robert Kellso will appear on the Nov. 7 ballot.

See more information at clallamcountywa.gov/Elections and voter.votewa.gov.

Sequim School Board

The Sequim School District, which is primarily in Clallam County with a portion in Jefferson County, has three primary contests for the school board.

Position 1 incumbent Larry Jeffryes is challenged by John Graham and Jim Shepherd.

Position 4 incumbent Maren Halverson will face Dean Christian and Derek Huntington.

Position 5 incumbent Michael Rocha is challenged by Hunter Gilliam and Sandra Kellso.

Incumbent Eric Pickens, the board president, currently holds Position 5 but filed for the District 3 seat currently held by Rocha, not Pickens’ at-large position. Pickens is running unopposed.

Positions 1, 3, and 5 are each four-year regular, non-partisan terms, while position 4 is an unexpired two-year regular, non-partisan term.

Sequim City Council

Vying for seats on the Sequim City Council are Position 1 incumbent William Armacost and Kathy Downer — who is now serving in the Position 2 seat — while Jim Black and Dan Butler have filed for Position 2 and Patrick Day and Harmony Rutter have filed for the Position 6 seat.

Mayor Tom Ferrell refiled for position 7 while incumbent Lowell Rathbun said via email he didn’t file for position 6 because he wanted to focus more on his family.

Each seat is for a four-year regular, non-partisan term on the City of Sequim’s seven-member council.

Clallam County Commissioner

Incumbent Clallam County Commissioner Mark Ozias, a Sequim Democrat, is challenged by Sequim Republican Stan McClain of Diamond Point. Voting for commissioner seats is limited in the Primary to their district (Sequim is district 1) and then it goes countywide in the General Election, Johnson said.

The elected district 1 commissioner sits on Clallam County’s three-member commissioner board for a four-year partisan position.

Clallam Fire District 3

Mike Mingee, a recent appointee to Clallam County Fire District 3 commissioner (Pos. 2) seat, filed for the six-year nonpartisan term after taking the place of Steven Chinn who resigned in April. Mingee would serve a six-year term on Clallam County Fire District 3’s three-person board.

Hospital District

Clallam County Hospital District’s District 2 incumbents John B. Nutter (Pos. 1) and Philip Giuntoli (Pos. 2), both of Port Angeles, are running unopposed. Candidates must file for the sub-district they live in, but voting for the Primary and General elections is open to all those who live within the hospital district, Johnson said.

Parks, water district positions

While Clallam County Park and Recreation District position 3 is contested, incumbent Al Mundy (Pos. 4) and J.Mike Rudd (Pos. 5) are unopposed for the four-year regular, non-partisan seats.

John Lewis is also unopposed for the Water District Sunland commissioner six-year regular, nonpartisan office seat. Again, none of these will appear on the primary ballot, only the Nov. 7 general election ballot.

Voter info

Clallam County will publish a local voters’ pamphlet for each election. For the General Election, the Local Voters’ Pamphlet will continue to be produced in conjunction with the State Voters’ Pamphlet.

All pamphlets will be available in both printed and electronic form on the Clallam County Auditor’s website: clallamcountywa.gov/elections.

Reporters Matthew Nash and Ken Park contributed to this report.