Peach gains in Clallam commissioner race in second count

PORT ANGELES — District 3 Clallam County commissioner candidate Bill Peach, a Republican, gained ground on Democrat Sissi Bruch in his bid to become the top vote-getter in the race in a second count of primary election ballots today (Friday).

Peach had just 16 votes fewer than Bruch in the count of 2,749 ballots by the county Auditor’s Office, raising the number of total ballots returned to 17,416, for a turnout of 37 percent of 47,133 registered voters.

There will be no additional counts of ballots in Tuesday’s election until Aug. 19, when the primary election is certified, Auditor Patty Rosand said.

Only the 13,375 voters registered in Clallam County District 3, which covers the West End from west Port Angeles to the Pacific, were mailed ballots to nominate the two candidates who will appear on the November ballot for the county commissioner position.

Bruch, 54, a senior planner with the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe, had 1,706 votes, 42 percent, to Peach’s 1,690 votes, 41 percent.

Peach, 59, is a retired Rayonier Inc. regional manager for Clallam County.

Bruch had a 103-vote lead and 43 percent of the vote after ballots were counted on election night.

Forks Mayor Bryon Monohon, 51, who filed stating no party preference, was eliminated in the top-two primary, with 710 votes, or 17 percent.

The entire county will vote on the commissioner seat in the general election.

In races with three or more candidates, Tuesday’s top-two primary election narrowed the Nov. 4 general election ballot to the two candidates who received the most votes.

All partisan races, even those with two or fewer candidates, appeared on Tuesday’s ballot. But those with two or less candidates will be finally decided in November.

In such a “beauty race,” results after Friday’s count remained virtually unchanged from Tuesday for Republican prosecuting attorney candidate Mark Nichols and appointed Republican Prosecuting Attorney Will Payne, with Nichols out-polling his opponent in the countywide vote.

Nichols had 7,074 votes, or 52 percent, to Payne’s 6,582 votes, or 48 percent.

Results also remained unchanged from Tuesday in primaries for the 6th Congressional District seat held by Gig Harbor Democrat and Port Angeles native Derek Kilmer and the 24th District state House of Representatives seat held by Sequim Democrat Steve Tharinger, both of whom remained the top vote-getters.

Kilmer, 40, will be challenged in his bid for a second term by Marty McClendon, 47, a Gig Harbor Republican.

As of 5 p.m. Friday, Kilmer had won 82,119 votes, or 58.72 percent, to McClendon’s 48,010 votes, or 34.33 percent districtwide.

Washington’s 6th Congressional District includes Jefferson and Clallam counties, as well as the counties of Grays Harbor, Mason, Thurston and Kitsap.

Douglas Milholland, 65, of Port Townsend, a member of the Green Party, had 4,882 votes, or 3.49 percent, and W. Greybeard McPherson, 75 of Port Angeles, who filed with no party preference, had 4,844 votes, or 3.46 percent.

In the 24th Legislative District, Position 2 race, Tharinger, 65, will be challenged for a third term by Thomas W. Greisamer, 73, a Republican from Moclips.

Tharinger won 19,895, or 57.09 percent, while Greisamer had 12,308 votes, or 35.32 percent districtwide as of as of 5 p.m. Friday.

The 24th District covers Jefferson and Clallam counties and part of Grays Harbor County.

Sequim neurologist, Stafford A. Conway, 42, a Libertarian, won 2,644 votes, or 7.59 percent.

Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, also is unopposed for the District 1 seat of the 24th Legislative District.

Nonpartisan races that will appear on the November ballot in Clallam County include those for district judge, community development director and county auditor races, as well four state Supreme Court positions and a Court of Appeals seat.

None were on the primary ballot.

District Court 1 Judge Rick Porter faces a challenge from Cathy Marshall, manager of the Port Angeles office of the state attorney general and president of the Clallam County Bar Association.

Sheila Roark Miller, community development director, is challenged by Port Angeles architect Mary Ellen Winborn.

Shoona Riggs, county elections supervisor, and Kim Yacklin, county Health and Human Services Administrative coordinator, will face off for Rosand’s seat. Rosand is retiring.

Also on the ballot will be 15 positions on the Charter Review Commission, which evaluate the county’s home-rule charter beginning in January with proposed amendments to go before voters in November 2015.

Clallam County is one of six counties in the state that operate under a home-rule charter, unlike most Washington counties where procedures are dictated by the Legislature.

Commissioners are elected every eight years, according to the present provision in the charter.

Five commissioners will be elected from each of the three county commissioner districts.

District 1 extends from the eastern county line to Boyce Road in Carlsborg. District 2 is the area between Boyce Road and Valley Creek in Port Angeles. District 3 covers the West End, beginning at Valley Creek.

Unopposed in this election cycle are Sheriff Bill Benedict, Treasurer Selinda Barkhuis, Assessor Pam Rushton, Superior Court Judge Chris Melly, District Court 2 Judge John Doherty and Hugh Haffner, Public Utility District commissioner.

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