Forks mayor files to make bid for Clallam commissioner

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Forks Mayor Bryon Monohon filed Thursday to run as an independent for Clallam County commissioner in District 3 in this year's election.

District 3, which covers the western third of Clallam County from Valley Creek in Port Angeles to the Pacific Ocean, is now represented by Port Angeles Democrat Mike Doherty.

Doherty had not filed for a fifth four-year term as of 4:30 p.m. Thursday and was not available for comment.

Online and in-person filing for 34 positions in Clallam County ends at 4:30 p.m. today.

If more than two candidates file for a position, they will vie in the Aug. 5 primary election, ballots for which will be mailed to registered voters July 16.

The top two vote-getters will compete in the Nov. 4 general election.

Monohon, 51, said he will serve as Forks mayor “all the way through the year no matter what.”

He said he will remain in the commissioners' race whether Doherty decides to run or not.

“If he does run, I'm not pulling out,” Monohon said in a telephone interview.

Port Angeles City Councilwoman Sissi Bruch, a Democrat, and Bill Peach of Forks, a retired forester and a Republican, filed for the District 3 commissioner seat earlier this week.

Bruch has said she will withdraw if Doherty runs for another term.

If Monohon is elected, the vacated Forks mayor position would fall to Deputy Mayor Mike Breidenbach.

“It goes by seniority,” Monohon said. “[Breidenbach] would have the option to accept it or decline it.”

Monohon, a substitute English teacher at Forks High School, was re-elected by city residents to a second four-year term as mayor in November 2013.

Forks has a “strong mayor” system of government, unlike Port Angeles, Sequim and Port Townsend. He is the town's top administrative official, overseeing city departments. The job is unpaid.

“I have decided to run as an independent,” Monohon said in a statement.

“I've served in a non-partisan role for many years, and I'm very much a moderate who is interested in listening to what people have to say on both sides of the political spectrum.

“I have always worked for people first before a party, and as a result, I represent both liberal and conservative issues.

“My established track record clearly shows that I am a fiscal conservative, and I am always concerned about maintaining strong property rights, low taxes and making sure there is a return of value for taxpayers.

“At the same time, we have to be very aware of the realistic challenges that we all face in the future to provide for a healthy environment for our children.”

Charter Review

Other candidates who filed Thursday were Jerry Sinn for the 15-member Charter Review Commission in Sequim-area District 1, Patti Morris and Dennis McBride for the Charter Review Commission in Port Angeles-area District 2, and Lee Whetham, Don Corson and Doherty for Charter Review Commission District 3.

The top five vote-getters in each of the county's three county commissioner districts will automatically be seated on the Charter Review Commission in the general election.

Others who filed earlier this week for the Charter Review Commission are Bill Lowman, Henning Holmgaard, Jon Alan Kirshbaum, Nola Judd, Anita Ready, Ted Miller, Sue Forde and Brandon Janisse in District 1; Maggie Roth, Kaj Ahlburg, Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin, Stephanie Noblin, Judi Hangartner, Norma Turner, Steven Burke and Scott Clausen in District 2; and Andrew May, Connie Beauvais, William White, John Merton Marrs and Barbara Christensen in District 3.

Clallam County incumbents who filed earlier this week for countywide offices were Director of Community Development Sheila Roark Miller, Prosecuting Attorney William Payne, Sheriff Bill Benedict, Treasurer Selinda Barkhuis, Assessor Pam Rushton, Superior Court Judge Chris Melly, Port Angeles-area District Court 1 Judge Rick Porter, Forks-area District Court 2 Judge John Doherty and Clallam County Public Utility District Commissioner Hugh Haffner.

Roark Miller drew opponent Mary Ellen Winborn, and Payne drew opponent Mark Nichols, a part-time hearings examiner and former acting prosecuting attorney.

Clallam County Elections Supervisor Shoona Riggs is running for retiring county Auditor Patty Rosand's nonpartisan spot.

Republican Thomas Greisamer of Moclips in Grays Harbor County is challenging incumbent 24th District state Rep. Steve Tharinger's bid for a third term.

Fellow Sequim Democrat Kevin Van De Wege also has filed for re-election in the 24th District, which covers Clallam and Jefferson counties and part of Grays Harbor County.

Gig Harbor Republican Marty McClendon and W. “Greybeard” McPherson of Port Angeles have filed against Derek Kilmer, who is seeking re-election to the 6th Congressional District seat.

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

Last modified: May 15. 2014 7:20PM
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