PORT ANGELES — Buoyed by $20,000 of his own money, the incumbent candidate for Clallam County commissioner has leapt far ahead of his two opponents in primary election campaign contributions.
Voting for the Aug. 7 primary ends at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
One-term District 3 Republican Bill Peach of Forks has raised $20,750 compared to $4,347 generated by Democrat and former county Commissioner Mike Doherty, according to candidate reports submitted to the state Public Disclosure Commission.
Dale Wilson, listed with no party preference for the primary, has told the PDC he will raise less than $5,000.
Peach’s May 16 loan, recorded Friday by the PDC along with $750 in mid-July cash contributions, is by far the largest single contribution to any campaign in Clallam and Jefferson counties.
It exceeds the total funds raised by each individual candidate in all five contested general election races in Jefferson County and six of seven general election contested races in Clallam County — incumbent Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Nichols has raised $27,367.
The county commissioner races in Clallam and Jefferson counties and the District Court 1 race in Clallam County, which has Suzanne Hayden, Dave Neupert and Pam Lindquist, who filed under the same min-reporting requirements as Wilson, are the only three-or-more-person contested county races on the primary ballot.
The top two vote-getters will advance to the Nov. 6 gene- ral election.
Peach was required to report the $20,000 loan to the PDC soon after it was made to his campaign but said last week he was unable to do so because of a software glitch.
Candidate filing ended May 18, two days after Peach’s loan.
Beginning June 1, a cycle of reporting to the PDC began under which cash contributions and loans had to be reported no later than the following Monday after they were made, according to the PDC website at www.pdc.wa.gov.
Active campaigns must make at least one weekly deposit.
Peach said last week his treasurer had trouble electronically filing his campaign contributions via the PDC’s website with the agency’s new software.
Peach said he did not realize his loan had not been reported until he read a June 17 PDN article on Clallam County candidates’ campaign funding that said his own campaign had not filed any contributions or expenditures.
Peach said his treasurer, Sany Schier of Forks, had been trying for two months to submit the reports.
“The reality is that an innocent mistake took place and I’m working as hard as I can to see that it’s corrected,” Peach said Thursday in an interview.
The reports were filed as of 3:30 p.m. Friday afternoon, Schier said.
PDC compliance coordinator Kurt Young confirmed Friday that an outdated version of PDC software that Schier was using did not allow her to electronically file the reports.
Jefferson County commissioner candidate Craig Durgan said Friday that he, too, had been having trouble submitting reports electronically to the PDC that still needed to be resolved.
PDC Deputy Director Barbara Sandahl said Friday the contribution reports “ensure that I can understand as much as possible about the candidate I am going to potentially cast my ballot for.”
Peach, who put $10,000 of his own money into his 2014 campaign, which raised $22,825, said he is not actively seeking campaign contributions.
This way, “nobody is saying this entity or that entity had an influence on the outcome of your election,” he said.
Peach said he has spent about $5,000 so far for newspaper and radio advertising, website design and rack cards.
Doherty has made $879 in in-kind contributions to his campaign and listed $1,862 in loans.
“To me, it’s not all that important at this point,” he said of raising money.
Doherty won four consecutive terms as Clallam County commissioner until 2014, when he did not seek re-election.
He said he’s put out some home-made campaign signs from 2004 and 2008 and done some leafletting and doorbelling.
“I’m just trying to get my name out there again,” Doherty said.
“I’ve had people offer to hold coffee hours and put on fundraisers If I wanted them to do it.
“So far, I’m not that eager to get into that right now.”
Wilson, publisher of the Port O Call blog and a founder and board member of Peninsula Area Public Access TV, did not return calls for comment Thursday and Friday for this article.
Wilson filed as a candidate under PDC mini-reporting requirements under which he does not report contributions or expenditures, does not spend or raising less than $5,000, and does not accept contributions of more than $500 from anyone other than himself.
Primary election voting for the District 3 position is confined to west Port Angeles and the county’s west end, as is voting for the position in the Nov. 6 general election.
All candidates in the two-person partisan races that are listed on primary ballots automatically advance to the general election.
Below are the contributions of $100 or more and total expenditures of Doherty, Hayden and Neupert as that were listed on the PDC website as of Saturday morning.
Peach’s expenditures were not yet recorded.
Clallam County Commissioner, District 3
Total cash contributions and loans: $4,347.
$879 (in kind): Mike Doherty, Port Angeles
$500: Sylvia Hancock, Sequim
$100: Cosette Dudley, Malcolm Dudley, Atherton, Calif.; Brian Grad, Sequim; Frank Cavanaugh, Scott Price, Mary M. Doherty, Port Angeles.
Total cash contributions and loans: $20,750
$500: Clallam County Republicans
$200: Grant Munro, Port Angeles
Port Angeles-area Clallam County District Court 1
Total contributions, including in-kind, and loans: $13,091.
In-kind contributions: $47
$9,766: Suzanne Hayden, Port Angeles
$1,000: Mary J. Duncan, Sequim
$250: Johnson Rutz Tassie & Schwantor PLLC, Port Angeles
$200: E.F. Turner, Port Angeles; Nathan B. Schiecher, Port Angeles
$147: Rachel Ringer, Port Angeles
Total contributions: $5,600
$3,600: Dave Neupert, Port Angeles
$250: Gordon F. Kapke, Nancy S. Kapke, Sequim; Ann Neupert, Camano Island; John C. Brewer, Port Angeles.
$125: Michael S. Maxwell, Barbara Maxwell, Port Angeles.
$100: William M. Hannah, Marjorie H. Hannah, Sequim; Grant Munro, Amy D. Powell, Brent Powell, Port Angeles.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].