Primary contests shape up in Jefferson County
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Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News
Candidates attend the ballot draw at the close of the filing period Friday. From left, Jefferson Healthcare board candidates Savannah Hensel and Jill Buher are joined by Port Townsend City Council hopefuls Pamela Adams and Catharine Robinson. Adams' husband, Mike Adams, is in the background.

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — Three-way primary contests have opened up in two of three open seats on the City Council, as well as for a Port of Port Townsend commission seat.

A two-way contest is set for a third City Council seat, and incumbent Jefferson Healthcare commissioners will face challenges.

The election lineup was finalized after the 4:30 p.m. Friday deadline passed for candidates to file declarations for 48 seats on the 25 elected councils, boards and commissions on which elected positions are available.

The three open City Council seats are those of the longest-serving council members.

Michelle Sandoval, 54, and Catharine Robinson, 65, were elected in 2001, while Mark Welch, 64, was elected in 2005 after serving a two-year stint in the late 1990s.

Sandoval and Robinson were among the first candidates to declare their intention to run this year.

Welch, a former mayor, announced his retirement from the council Wednesday.

Council challenges

Now, Sandoval, also a former mayor, is challenged for her Position 1 seat by Bob Jautz, who retired after careers in the financial industry and as a surveyor, and Vern Garrison, a Port Townsend contractor who served on the council in the early 2000s.

Robinson, in Position 2, is challenged by Patrick Moore for another term.

Position 5, vacated by Welch, also has a three-way race.

Pamela Adams, 69, a chiropractor who ran in 2011 for the council but did not meet residency requirements, will face Steve Oakford, 69, currently a KPTZ-91.9 FM radio volunteer, and Harold “Jim” Sherwood, 65, a Port Townsend veterinarian.

The three-candidate races will be narrowed down to two in the Aug. 6 primary, with the top vote-getters advancing to the Nov. 5 election.

One measure will be on the primary ballot: a Port Townsend Library bond issue.

That should help get voters out to participate in the City Council elections, Adams said.

Port of Port Townsend

A primary contest will take place in the Port of Port Townsend's commission race for the District 2 seat, which represents Port Hadlock, Cape George and Marrowstone Island.

The winner of the three-way race will replace District 2 Commissioner Dave Thompson, who lost his district when its boundaries were redrawn in 2011.

Entrepreneur Peter Quinn, 59, engineer Bill Putney, 66, and maritime trades worker Brad Clinefelter, 54, all filed for the seat.

In District 3, incumbent commissioner Leif Erickson, 62, is challenged by Pete Hanke, 54, who operates a commercial vessel in Port Townsend.

Both seats are four-year terms.

Fire districts

On the East Jefferson Fire-Rescue Board, the incumbent in Position 1, Zane Wyll Sr., is running for another six-year term, while David Johnson of Port Hadlock has filed to fill an unexpired four-year term in Position 3.

Both are unopposed.

Ed Edwards, who was appointed to fill the Position 3 seat after the death of Commissioner Jesse Bondurant Jr., did not seek another term.

On the Quilcene Fire District board, incumbent Deborah Randall filed for a six-year term for Position 1, and incumbent Gary Phillips is running to fill an unexpired two-year term for Position 2.

Randall and Phillips, both unopposed, were appointed to the board after a recall election earlier this year removed two commissioners from office.

Port Ludlow Fire Commission incumbent Ed Davis is unopposed in Position 2, while incumbent Gene Carmody is challenged by Tami Robocker, both for six-year terms.

On the Discovery Bay Fire District commission, Barb Knoepfle is unopposed for a six-year term in Position 3.

Meril Smith filed for Position 3 on the Brinnon Fire District, a six-year term.


On the Port Townsend School Board, current Chair Jennifer James-Wilson is opposed by former board member and retired mill employee Rita Beebe-Caldwell for a four-year term.

Holley Carlson, who like Wilson was first elected in 2009, is unopposed for her position.

On the Chimacum School Board, Sarah Sawyer is challenging District 1 incumbent Ted Friedrich, while incumbents Cammy Brown, District 2, and Kevin Miller, District 5, are unopposed.

All are four-year terms.

On the Quilcene School Board, District 2 incumbent Gary Rae is unopposed, while Keith D. Meyer and Greg Brotherton have both filed for the director-at-large seat, which is open.

Terms are for four years.

On the Brinnon School Board, incumbents Valerie Schindler, Position 1, and Joe Baisch, Position 3, are unopposed.

Shindler is running for a four-year term, while Baisch is running for an unexpired two-year term.

Four candidates filed for three seats on the Queets/Clearwater School District. Each is a four-year term.

Incumbent Lyle Pfeifle, District 1, and Suzanna R. Kalama, District 5 incumbent, are unopposed, while incumbent Sara S. Charles and Betty Boome are running against each other in District 2.

The two incumbent Jefferson Healthcare commissioners will face challenges for another six-year term.

Current board chair Marc Mauney, a retired physician, is opposed by Matt Ready, 39, an employee at the hospital.

Journalist and consultant Jill Buhler, 67, is opposed by student Savannah Hensel, 28.

Other filings

Other filings throughout the week were:

■ Three candidates filed for the Coyle-Thorndyke Park and Recreation District.

Dennis Schmitt, Position 2, and Larry Robinson, Position 3, are seeking four-year terms, while Cathy Bohman, Position 4, is running to fill a two-year unexpired term.

■ Nikki Hay filed for Position 2 on the West (Forks) Jefferson County Hospital District, a six-year term.

■ Karl Springer filed for a four-year unexpired term for Position 1 on the Brinnon Cemetery District, where Roxianne Morris filed for a six-year term for Position 2.

■ Jim Hueter filed for Position 1 on the Gardiner Cemetery District, a six-year term.

■ Fred Stern filed for Position 1 on the Brinnon Water District, a six-year term.

At the close of filings, Jefferson County Elections Supervisor Karen Cartmel said five seats did not draw any candidates.

The Quilcene and Brinnon cemetery districts each have open seats, while no one filed to serve on the Queets-Clearwater Fire District.

Cartmel said an extended filing period for these positions will be announced at a later time.


Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at

Last modified: May 19. 2013 12:05AM
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