Clallam elections supervisor eyes auditor's seat

By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County Elections Supervisor Shoona Riggs announced her intention Wednesday to run for county auditor on the same day her boss, Auditor Patty Rosand, announced her plans to retire Dec. 31.

Riggs, 41, of Port Angeles began working for the Auditor's Office in 1996. She has served for 14 years in the elections division.

“I feel it's an exciting new chapter in my life,” Riggs said.

“I just think it's the next natural step for me to take,” she added, citing 24 years of auditor's office employment on the North Olympic Peninsula.

Candidate filing for this year's elections begins Monday.

A 1990 graduate of Chimacum High School, Riggs began working for the Jefferson County Auditor's Office at age 17 — two weeks out of high school — before moving to Clallam County six years later and working at the courthouse in Port Angeles for then-Auditor Ken Foster.

Riggs, who has never sought public office, said she is at the top of her career at the elections division and has been cross-trained in several positions, including recording, voter registration and licensing.

“I can continue to be a quote-unquote 'working auditor' because I have the knowledge to work in all of those departments,” said Riggs, a South Laguna, Calif., native whose family moved to the Port Hadlock area when she was 5.

Riggs and her husband, Ron, 43, an electrician at Westport Shipyard in Port Angeles, have three girls ages 23, 19 and 12, and a son, 14, and are active foster parents.

Riggs, who said she almost completed an associate degree with an emphasis on childhood education at Peninsula College, supervises two full-time employees and an additional four part-time employees during elections.

As an elections supervisor, she has reduced the county's cost for shredding documents and negotiated lower service fees with vendors for elections, she said.

The Auditor's Office has 11.5 full-time-equivalent employees and a 2014 budget of $1.1 million.

Riggs said that if elected, she does not have major plans for the office and would continue moving forward with new technology.

Her annual salary is $53,814.

If elected, Riggs would earn $71,854.

Rosand said Wednesday she will wait to decide on her choice for the nonpartisan position until the completion of candidate filing week May 16.

“I had asked anyone in my office if they were interested in running some time ago,” Rosand said.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at pgottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: May 07. 2014 7:35PM
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