By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News
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Lee Whetham, 53, filed Thursday for City Council Position 2, currently held by first-term Councilman Max Mania, who has not announced if he plans to seek re-election.
Deadline for filing for the November election — and August primary if there are three or more candidates for any position — is today.
“I just thought this is my opportunity to make a difference,” Whetham said. “I love Port Angeles, and I look forward to the opportunity to help others.”
Peter Ripley, a local disability advocate and online newspaper publisher, also has filed for Position 2.
If elected, Whetham said he will use his four years' experience as an area representative of the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 32 to seek additional ways for city residents to benefit from taxpayer-funded construction projects.
“I want to put more local residents to work on these public projects,” Whetham said. “This, in turn, will help all the local small businesses.
Whetham, who lives in Port Angeles with his wife, Kim, and children, Emily and Jacob, has served as president of the Olympic Peninsula Building and Construction Trades Council and as an executive board member of the Washington State Building and Construction Council.
Whetham, a 30-year veteran of the construction industry as a licensed journeyman plumber, also served on two different advisory boards at Peninsula College and was the superintendent for the mechanical contractor when the college built its new library.
Whetham grew up in Kingston. After years of visiting Port Angeles with family and friends, he “was finally able to find a job up here and move.”
Port Angeles Deputy Mayor Brad Collins and Councilman Patrick Downie both have filed for re-election, while Councilwoman Brooke Nelson will retire from the council.
Real estate broker Dan Gase is running for Nelson's position, with Nelson serving as his campaign manager.
Candidates wishing to file for an elected position must submit their declarations of candidacy to the elections office in the basement of the county courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St., by 4:30 p.m. today.
Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.