Leading up to the Nov. 3 general election, the Sequim Police Department increased its presence at the city’s lone ballot drop box at the Sequim Village Shopping Center, 651 W. Washington St. Here, Sequim Police Officer Taran Johnson speaks with Laraine Gau of Agnew after she drops off a ballot on Oct. 30. Staff Sgt. Sean Madison said they didn’t expect any issues on or after Election Day, but the department adjusted shifts to increase staffing during the day this week to be prepared for any possible situation. “We expect it to be a busy day,” he said. “Emotions can run high and we have a plan to deal with (Election Day) if anything goes funny on us, but we’re not seeing anything causing us concern.”Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Leading up to the Nov. 3 general election, the Sequim Police Department increased its presence at the city’s lone ballot drop box at the Sequim Village Shopping Center, 651 W. Washington St. Here, Sequim Police Officer Taran Johnson speaks with Laraine Gau of Agnew after she drops off a ballot on Oct. 30. Staff Sgt. Sean Madison said they didn’t expect any issues on or after Election Day, but the department adjusted shifts to increase staffing during the day this week to be prepared for any possible situation. “We expect it to be a busy day,” he said. “Emotions can run high and we have a plan to deal with (Election Day) if anything goes funny on us, but we’re not seeing anything causing us concern.”Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

UPDATED: Incumbents earn wins in legislative races

Regional and local incumbents enjoyed big victories in the 2020 general election, as record-breaking voter-turnout statewide was mirrored in Clallam and Jefferson counties last week.

With another count Monday, Nov. 9, Clallam County has tabulated 47,565 ballots out of 57,691 registered voters, for a voter turnout of 82.5 percent, while Jefferson County amassed the second-highest voter turnout in the state with 24,991 ballots counted out of 27,703 provided voters, for a turnout of 90.2 percent, according to the Washington Secretary of State website; only San Juan County (90.9 percent) had a higher turnout rate.

The statewide turnout is at 84.6 percent.

With an estimated 1,800 ballots left to count in Clallam County on Nov. 10, the next ballot was scheduled for late yesterday. The election is certified Nov. 24.

U.S. congress, Legislative District 24 positions

Voters are sending Derek Kilmer, a Democrat, to a fifth term as the 6th Congressional District representative. He was challenged for the U.S. House of Representatives seat by Elizabeth Kreiselmaier, a Republican; both live in Gig Harbor. Kilmer had 243,553 votes after the most recent count, 59.4 percent, to Kreiselmaier’s 165,331 votes (40.3 percent); the race saw 955 wrote-in votes. In Clallam County, Kilmer took 24,489 votes to Kreiselmaier’s 21,627 for an 53-47 lead.

Angi Klahn, left, Clallam County Auditor’s Office accountant, helped process voter registration Friday for Seth Russell, formerly of Santa Cruz, Calif., who recently moved to Port Angeles with his partner and her brother. Photo by Paul Gottlieb/Olympic Peninsula News Group

Angi Klahn, left, Clallam County Auditor’s Office accountant, helped process voter registration Friday for Seth Russell, formerly of Santa Cruz, Calif., who recently moved to Port Angeles with his partner and her brother. Photo by Paul Gottlieb/Olympic Peninsula News Group

Washington’s 6th Congressional District includes Jefferson and Clallam counties, as well as the counties of Grays Harbor and Kitsap and portions of Mason and Pierce counties.

Each of the three Legislative District 24 incumbents, all Democrats, are keeping their seats with similar victories over their Republican challengers. District 24 covers Clallam and Jefferson counties as well a portion of Grays Harbor County.

In the race for State Senate, Sen. Kevin Van De Wege of Sequim tallied 48,806 votes (54.2 percent) to 40,486 (45.7 percent) for Connie Beauvais of Joyce. In Clallam County, Van De Wege narrowly out-paced Beauvais with 23,156 votes (50.4 percent) to 22,739 (49.5).

Rep. Mike Chapman of Port Angeles fended off a challenge by Sue Forde of Sequim for State Representative Pos. 1. Chapman had 48,184 votes (54.4 percent) to Forde’s 40,400 (45.6 percent). In Clallam County, Chapman’s lead was slimmer, with 23,335 votes (50.7 percent) to Forde’s 22,600 (49.2 percent).

Steve Tharinger of Port Townsend, vying for State Representative Pos. 2, topped Brian Pruiett of Carlsborg with 47,547 votes districtwide (53.9 percent), to Pruiett’s 40,675 (46.1 percent). In Clallam, Tharinger earned 22,942 votes (50.2 percent) to Pruiett’s 22,746 (49.7 percent).

Local races, charter amendments

Superior Court Judge Lauren Erickson was able to retain the seat to which she was appointed by Gov. Jay Inslee in February 2019, topping challenger Lisa Dublin in the non-partisan race. Erickson has 22,558 votes as of the most recent count — 56.2 percent — to Dublin’s 17,468 votes (43.5 percent).

Clallam County Public Utility District candidate Rick Paschall edged Patti Morris, with each seeking to fill A six-year position held by the late Hugh Haffner, who had resigned and was replaced by appointee Dave Anderson. Anderson did not run for the seat. Paschall had 15,774 votes (about 52.2 percent) to Morris’ 14,342votes (47.5 percent).

Voter action on six proposed Clallam County Charter amendments included:

• Passed — No. 1, which would make the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney non-partisan, with 28,733 votes (66.4 percent) to 14,517 (33.6 percent).

• Passed, by a wide margin — No. 2, housekeeping measure that would clarify Article IV, Section 4.10, with 33,503 votes (77.9 percent) to 9,474 votes (22 percent).

• Failed, by a wide margin — No. 3, which would change frequency of Charter Review elections from five years to eight years, with just 10,037 yes votes (23.4 percent) to 32,849 votes (76.6 percent).

• Passed — No. 4, which would change the system of electing county commissioners to a system in which they would be nominated by the district and elected by the voters countywide, with 23,050 votes (54.1 percent) to 19,545 votes (45.9 percent).

• Failed — No. 5, which would change the office of the director of the Department of Community Development from elected to appointed, with 14,994 yes votes (35.3 percent) to 27,535 votes against (64.7 percent).

• Failed — No. 6, which would lower the amount of signatures required to file an initiative petition for repeal of the Clallam County Charter from 35 percent to 20 percent of the number of voters who voted for the office of governor in the last statewide election; the proposed amendment garnered just 16,430 votes for (38.5 percent) and 26,200 votes against (61.5 percent).

A replacement four-year Educational Programs and Operations levy for the Port Angeles High School was passing after Wednesday’s count, with 10,616 ballots for (60.1 percent) and 7,045 against (39.9 percent). The $5.6 million levy would be funded by a property tax rate of $1.50 per $1,000 of valuation.

Statewide races

Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, received a vote of confidence over Republican Loren Culp in both Clallam and Jefferson counties’ early returns — with a much larger margin in Jefferson County than in Clallam.

Clallam voters approved of Inslee with 23,485 votes for 49.9 percent, and Culp garnered 23,416 votes for about 49.8 percent.

With more than 3.95 million ballots cast statewide, Inslee has a hefty 57 percent of the vote.

In a race between two Democrats for Lieutenant Governor, Denny Heck topped Marko Liias with 46 percent of the vote statewide to Liias’ 33.5 percent; with no Republican on the ballot, voters more than 20 percent for write-in candidates. In Clallam County, Heck led Liias 50.3 percent to Liass’ 28.3 percent, with more than 21 percent of local voters opting for a write-in candidate.

Incumbent Bob Ferguson earned another term in the state Attorney General race with 56.7 percent of all ballots cast in Washington state, a decisive advantage over Republican challenger Matt Larkin. In Clallam County, local voters gave Larkin a slight edge (50.1-49.3) over Ferguson.

Republican incumbent Kim Wyman retained her position as Secretary of State, defeating Democrat challenger Gael Tarleton. Wyman has about 53.5 percent of the 3.8 million ballots cast statewide for the position. In Clallam County she fared even better, with 57.7 percent of the 45,842 ballots cast.

Fellow Republican incumbent Duane A. Davidson was unable to retain his State Treasurer position, with Democrat challenger Mike Pelliccotti amassing about 53.6 percent of the more than 3.8 million votes cast. Davidson had a slight advantage in Clallam County, garnering about 51.6 percent of ballots cast after slightly trailing Pelliccotti in the initial Nov. 3 Election Night count.

Democrat Pat (Patrice) McCarthy was the first woman elected as Washington State Auditor when she took the oath of office in 2017, and will continue in that position after tallying about 58.2 percent of ballots cast statewide, fending off Republican challenger Chris Leyba. McCarthy garnered about 51.6 percent of the vote from Clallam County residents.

Fellow Democrat incumbent Hillary Franz similarly posted a large win over Republican challenger Sue Kuehl Pederson in the race for Commissioner of Public Lands. Franz had a little less than than 57 percent of ballots cast statewide. Franz led Pederson in Clallam County votes by just 18 (22,724-22,706) in the most recent count.

Mike Kreidler, another Democrat incumbent, locked up his sixth term as Insurance Commissioner after gaining more than 65 percent of the 3.7 million votes cast statewide, leading Republican challenger Chirayu Avinash Patel by a wide margin. Kreidler earned about 59.8 percent of ballots cast in Clallam.

Incumbent Chris Reykdal is well on his way to holding his non-partisan Superintendent of Public Instruction role over challenger Maia Espinoza. Statewide, Reykdal had about 54.7 percent of the 3.5 million votes cast, and about 53 percent of the 40,453 ballots cast in Clallam County.

Raquel Montoya-Lewis topped Dave Larson for State Supreme Court Justice Pos. 3 with about 58.4 percent of the 3.4 million votes cast statewide; in Clallam County, she leads Larson with about 53.3 percent of the 40,177 ballots cast.

G. Helen Whitener routed Richard S. Sems for State Supreme Court Justice Pos. 6 with about 66.4 percent of all state ballots. In Clallam, Whitener held a similar advantage with about 64 percent of more than 36,000 ballots cast.

In the controversial statewide Referendum 90 measure, Clallam County was narrowly approving the sex education measure with nearly 51.9 percent of ballots cast. Statewide, the measure had garnered about 58 percent of the more than 3.8 million ballots cast at press time.

Presidential preferences

Ballots in Clallam County for presidential race — called in recent days by the Associated Press for Democrat challenger Joe Biden but looking to be contested by incumbent Republican Donald Trump — went primarily to Biden.

In Clallam County, Biden gained 23,801 votes (50.4 percent) while Trump managed 22,050 votes (46.7 percent). In Jefferson County, Biden garnered 16,641 votes for about 70 percent of ballots cast to Trump’s 6,624 (27.8 percent).

Statewide, Biden topped Trump with 58.3 percent of the more than 3.9 million ballots counted in Washington state.

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