2nd tally puts Olympic Medical Center commissioner back in office

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — A second count of ballots turned around the election for Olympic Medical Center Commissioner Jean Hordyk, who has won a fourth term on the public hospital district’s governing board.

Hordyk, who trailed challenger Heather Jeffers by 75 votes Tuesday, pulled ahead by 159 votes after the Clallam County Auditor’s Office processed 9,493 more general election ballots Friday.

As of Friday, Hordyk had 8,280 votes to Jeffers’ 8,121 votes. Her lead was a slim 50.5 percent to 49.5 percent.

“I’m speechless,” Hordyk said when told of the results.

The next count will be when the election is certified Nov. 26.

As of Friday, 24,884 ballots out of a possible 46,668 had been returned to the Auditor’s Office for a voter turnout of 53.3 percent, said County Auditor Patty Rosand.

Voter turnout in neighboring Jefferson County was 61.4 percent, with 13,990 ballots received out of a possible 22,772.

Rosand said it is unlikely that any race will change when the last ballots are counted.

She said the number of final ballots, most of which have mismatched signatures, is “well under 500.”

“After Tuesday night, I really though Heather would win,” Hordyk said.

“I figured most of the [late] votes were coming from the east and west.”

Hordyk, 66, of Port Angeles and Jeffers, 41, of Sequim received strong support in their respective hometowns.

Hordyk won 11 of the 13 Port Angeles precincts, while Jeffers won five of six Sequim precincts and most of the precincts in the Dungeness Valley.

Hospital District No. 2, OMC’s official district, stretches from the Jefferson County line to the west side of Lake Crescent.

Rosand said most of the ballots that were processed Friday came from drop boxes in the east and west sides of Clallam County.

Hordyk, a retired U.S. Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection officer and former Port Angeles Senior Center director, said she did not know why the race was so close.

“I had no expectation one way or another, to be honest,” she said.

Hordyk said she was “surprised” and “honored” by Friday’s turn of events. She added that Jeffers was a “good candidate.”

Jeffers, a licensed nursing home administrator at Avamere Olympic Rehabilitation of Sequim, said she was pleased with the amount of support she received in her first bid for elected office.

“I’m so honored to have had so many votes to begin with,” said Jeffers, adding: “I don’t feel like I could have lost to a better opponent.”

No other local election results changed with Friday’s release of ballot numbers.

However, Clallam County voters sided in favor of Initiative 522 — the defeated state measure that required labeling of genetically engineered foods — by 50.1 percent in Friday’s results.

County voters were rejecting I-522 by 52.5 percent Tuesday. Voters in Jefferson County approved it by 60.4 percent.

Election results are posted at www.clallam.net/elections.

________

Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: November 09. 2013 7:17PM
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