PORT TOWNSEND — A founding member and the chairman of the Jefferson County Young Democrats has announced his candidacy for the District 3 seat on the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners.
Ryan McAllister said he will run for the seat now held by Kathleen Kler who has said she is still considering whether or not she will run for re-election. District 3 encompasses south Jefferson County communities and West Jefferson County.
McAllister and his supporters will mark his announcement with refreshments at the Quilcene Community Center, 294952 U.S. Highway 101, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday.
McAllister plans to file during candidate filing week from May 14-18 for the primary election to be held Aug. 7.
Only District 3 voters will cast ballots in the primary. The top two vote-getters will advance to the general election Nov. 6 for a county-wide vote.
McAllister, 30, is an emergency room technician with Jefferson Healthcare hospital and Harrison Medical Center. He is a longtime resident of Jefferson County who lives in Brinnon with his wife, Vicky McAllister.
“I’ve been thinking about this decision for over a year,” McAllister said. “Is it wrong to run against an incumbent? I thought about it and decided that I would like to represent the county.
“I had a meeting with Commission Kler. This isn’t about what she isn’t doing. It’s about my desire to be of service to the county.”
Active in his union, the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21, McAllister serves as organizer and shop steward. McAllister believes his experience as a negotiator will help him reach across social and political boundaries.
“The constituents in District 3 have different beliefs, different political viewpoints and a large demographic,” McAlister said.
“More and more people are moving to the county. Young families are mixing in with an older population, and that creates differing and new priorities.”
McAllister supports the shooting range moratorium the county adopted in December, saying it is in the best interest of the community to review all possible impacts.
He does not support further development in Pleasant Harbor in the Brinnon area, saying it will not be beneficial to the surrounding area and might displace some local businesses. He believes it will have a negative effect on the environment and is not in line with local infrastructure development.
McAllister was a national delegate for Bernie Sanders at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. He was unanimously elected State Committeeman by the Jefferson County Democrats and chaired the Code of Conduct sub-committee.
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at [email protected].