By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
Want more top stories? Sign up here for daily or weekly newsletters with our top news.
“The other party has folded,” George Yount, Democrat Party chairman, told a gathering of 71 party members at the Port Townsend Recreation Center this week.
“But we need to be deliberative,” he said. “We have a lot of new candidates that have stepped forward, but we need to learn more about them before making an endorsement.”
The majority of races are unopposed or have only one Democratic candidate making an endorsement decision obvious, but in three county races — sheriff, treasurer and auditor — the contest is between two Democrats.
In these races, Yount said at the Tuesday event, the party should wait to make endorsements until they can more properly vet those who are running.
“This is like going on a first date or sharing a first kiss: We need to know more,” Yount said.
“Endorsements are powerful.”
The top-two primary election Aug. 5 will cull out all but the top two vote-getters, who will advance to the Nov. 4 general election.
On Tuesday, those who attended followed Yount’s recommendation on behalf of the party’s executive board and approved a motion to defer endorsements in the three contested races until the next party meeting June 10.
The meeting, which is open to the public, will be at 6:30 p.m. at the Tri-Area Community Center.
The candidates will address those present. An endorsement vote will be taken at that time.
Candidates are Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Scott Rosekrans, 62, and challenger Michael Haas, 53; sheriff candidates Dave Stanko, 66, and Wendy Davis, 46; and auditor candidates Rose Ann Carroll, 63, and Judy Maves-Klatt, 52.
On Tuesday, those who attended agreed to endorse Democrats who are running with no challenge from within the party.
Among those was county treasurer candidate Stacie Hoskins, 43.
It was the first public appearance for Hoskins, who was recommended by retiring treasurer Judi Morris, a Republican.
Since that time, all three named candidates have withdrawn, leading to the expected naming of Chief Deputy County Treasurer Janet Holbrook as interim treasurer until the election results are certified.
“When Judi Morris approached me, I was honored by her trust and faith in me when she put my name forward as the best qualified candidate regardless of my political beliefs,” Hoskins said.
Hoskins told the group she has multiple sclerosis.
“I am very healthy, and this will not interfere with my work,” she said of the disease that can have debilitating effects in its later stages.
“My last checkup was great.”
The two Democrats running in the sheriff’s race — Stanko, a retired California police lieutenant who was named Jefferson County Citizen of the Year in 2011, and Davis, a former Bremerton and Poulsbo police officer — made pitches for support from their party.
The three-way race — which includes retired State Patrol Sgt. Ken Przygocki, (pronounced sheh-GUSS-key), 63, who has no party preference — will be on the August primary ballot.
“We must have strong field supervision. That’s where the rubber meets the road,” Stanko said.
“I expect officers that come to your house, whether they are taking a theft report or responding to a very serious crime, will give you the time that you deserve,” he added.
Said Davis: “As the first woman in this role, I can bring tangible change to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
“As a female law enforcement officer, I will bring more compassion, cooperation, collaborative efforts, empathy, family values and a different approach to law enforcement leadership that has not been experienced in Jefferson County,” she said.
Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or firstname.lastname@example.org.