Richards takes early lead in primary election for Clallam County commission race

Democrat Ron Richards was the top choice in tonight’s initial count of votes in the primary election for the District 2 Clallam County commission race.

Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Democrat Ron Richards was the top choice in tonight’s initial count of votes in the primary election for the District 2 Clallam County commission race.

He won 37.54 percent of the vote. Randy Johnson, who filed with no party preference, netted 24.77 percent of the vote, with Republican Gabe Rygaard winning 22.06 percent and Republican Maggie Roth taking 15.63 percent.

If the positions stay the same as more votes are counted this week in the all-mail election, Richards and Johnson will face off in the general election.

In Washington’s top-two primary, the two candidates who receive the most primary election votes advance to the November general election, regardless of party affiliation.

No incumbent is running. Democrat Mike Chapman decided to run for the 24th District Position 1 state representative position instead of seeking a fifth term on the county commission.

Thousands of votes are still on hand to be counted.

The Clallam County Auditor’s Office counted 10,941 ballots tonight out of 49,026 mailed to registered voters, for a voter turnout of 22.35 percent.

The number counted tonight is the amount received through Monday, said Auditor Shoona Riggs.

Another 3,416 came in Tuesday’s mail and more — perhaps a couple thousand — were retrieved from drop boxes, she said.

“A lot of ballots came in today,” Riggs said earlier today. “We had a lot of Election Day voters.”

And she expects a large number in the next day’s mail.

The next ballot count will be by 4:30 p.m. Friday, Riggs said.

Richards, 71, of Port Angeles, won 1,220 votes, or 37.54 percent.

Richards served in the county commission seat from 1976-80. He is a commercial fisherman.

Johnson, 73, of Port Angeles, won 805 votes, or 24.77 percent, in tonight’s count.

He is the former president of the timberland and wood products company Green Crow Corp. of Port Angeles and current chairman of the board.

Rygaard, 45, of Sequim, had 717 votes votes, or 22.06 percent.

His family-owned Rygaard Logging Inc. was featured on History Channel’s “Ax Men.” He is the owner of Ryfield Properties Inc., Port Angeles and of Penny Creek Quarry of Quilcene.

Roth, 62, of Port Angeles, had 508 votes, or 15.63 percent. She is a civil process server who ran unsuccessfully for Clallam County commissioner as a Republican in 2012 was who was elected to the county Charter Review Commission in 2014.

Ballots returns had been slow until Monday.

As of Friday, only 8,761 of the 49,004 registered voters who were sent ballots in the all-mail election had returned them, for a voter turnout of 17.88 percent in the primary election dominated by a plethora of state and regional races.

Several races on the primary ballot were “beauty contests,” meaning they were between only two candidates, and no matter what the primary outcome, both will be on the November ballot.

For more information on election outcomes, see the Clallam County Auditor’s website at and the Washington Secretary of State website at

More in Home

Port Townsend Film Festival rolls out welcome mat

Going to the Port Townsend Film Festival, which starts… Continue reading

Water main breaks on West 10th Street in Port Angeles

City crews were working to repair a water main… Continue reading

Clallam withdraws job offer, will restart search for administrator

The Clallam County Board of County Commissioners rescinded its… Continue reading

OMC CEO urges ‘real people’ to express how change would affect them

Olympic Medical Center has seen widespread support across Clallam… Continue reading

Port Angeles club for youth seeks funds for new facility

A haven for children needs help from adults. The… Continue reading

Jefferson County PUD eyes $4 million expansion

Jefferson County Public Utility District commissioners and staff plan… Continue reading

Homeless pacts extended to give more time for consideration

Interlocal agreements between Jefferson County and the city of… Continue reading

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
                                The Eighth Street bridge over Valley Creek in Port Angeles will be the site of a celebration of the installation of suicide barriers tonight.
Suicide barriers draw praise in Port Angeles

Two fathers with painful connections to the Eighth Street… Continue reading

D’Amico files lawsuit against Jefferson County sheriff

Joe D’Amico, owner of Security Services Northwest Inc., has… Continue reading

Most Read