Sequim Gazette staff
As was the case in most of Washington, 2012 general election results in local races produced good news for Democrats, with Jim Hargrove nailing down his third term as state senator and incumbent state representatives Steve Tharinger and Kevin Van De Wege easily besting their challengers.
Independent Mike Chapman beat challenger Maggie Roth, a Republican, for County Commissioner Position 2, while in the nonpartisan Superior Court Position 1 race, Erik Rohrer picked up a clear win.
State senator, District 24
In districtwide voting (Clallam, Grays Harbor and Jefferson counties), Hargrove earned an easy victory with a 65.5 percent-34.5 percent split.
In Clallam, Hargrove had a slightly smaller margin of victory, beating Larry Carter, an independent, by a 62.4 percent-37.6 percent split.
Carter said over the course of the campaign Hargrove had earned his respect.
“I’m looking forward to working with him in the future,” he said.
State rep races
Van De Wege picked up 64.2 percent of all votes cast in the District 24 Position 1 race against independent Craig Durgan. In Clallam County, Durgan did slightly better, picking up 38.78 percent of the vote to Van De Wege’s 61.22 percent.
Van De Wege said he’s “very appreciative” of the support he received from voters on the peninsula.
“I’m glad they’re willing to send me back to Olympia for a few more years.”
Tharinger picked up a win over Republican Steve Gale in the District 24 Position 2 race. Districtwide he netted 58.43 percent of the vote. Among Clallam County voters the race was a little closer, with Tharinger receiving 54.56 percent of the vote to Gale’s 45.44 percent.
The 20,393 votes cast for incumbent Mike Chapman (no party) provided a 62.43 percent-38.3 percent win against Republican Maggie Roth in the race for County Commissioner Position 2.
“I’m always honored and humbled with voters’ support,” Chapman said. “I give a lot of credit to Maggie (Roth). She worked hard and ran a clean campaign with no mudslinging.”
“It’s been like an adventure,” Roth said. “I learned a lot.”
Public Utility District
Incumbent Ted Simpson finished with 13,014 votes, good for a 58.78 percent-41.22 percent victory over challenger Cindy Kelly in the race for Clallam County Public Utility District Position 1.
Simpson said he was “really pleased” by the vote of confidence. “It’s been a wonderful opportunity to serve the community.”
Erik Rohrer bested challenger Chris Melly 55.42 percent-44.58 percent in the race for Clallam County Superior Court Judge Position 1.
Clallam voters mostly agreed with those statewide regarding several well-publicized state initiatives, voting to approve the legalization of marijuana, to require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to raise taxes and to approve an initiative to create a charter school system. Clallam voters went against the grain on the referendum to allow same-sex marriages, with 52.64 percent voting against the measure.
Statewide 53.27 percent of voters said yes.