No changes seen in election outcomes after count of 12,141 more ballots in Clallam County

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County candidates who were leading on election day held their ground when the Auditor’s Office counted 12,141 additional ballots in the general election.

In the second count of ballots Friday, attorney John Black extended his lead from four votes to 15 votes in a close contest against Superior Court Judge Erik Rohrer for the Clallam County District Court 2 judgeship.

Black had 927 votes to Rohrer’s 912 votes — a 50.41 percent to 49.59 percent edge — in their bids to replace retiring West End Judge John Doherty.

Voter turnout as of Friday was 67.55 percent. The Auditor’s Office had counted 35,581 of the 52,674 ballots mailed to registered voters countywide.

The Auditor’s Office will count an estimated 3,900 additional ballots in a third count by 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

In Jefferson County, the voter turnout after Friday’s count was 82.2 percent, or 20,887 ballots counted out of 25,411 provided to registered voters, with no counts planned until the races are certified Nov. 27. That made the county second in the state in turnout, slightly behind the much smaller county of Garfield (1,657 voters), which had 82.62 percent.

In the judicial race for Port Angeles-based Clallam County District Court 1, Dave Neupert maintained a lead he had forged Tuesday on fellow Port Angeles attorney Suzanne Hayden.

Neupert had 15,128 votes, or 51.37 percent, to Hayden’s 14,320 votes, or 48.63 percent, as of Friday. Neupert carried 51.53 percent of the early vote.

“They’ve only counted half the vote, so I’m not too worried about it,” Hayden said of the late-arriving ballots.

Neupert and Hayden and vying to replace District Court Judge Rick Porter, who did not seek re-election.

Neupert, Black and Rohrer could not be reached for comment Friday night.

In a countywide race, Jim Waddell widened Friday the narrow lead he established on incumbent Clallam County Public Utility District Commissioner Ted Simpson.

Waddell had 11,587 votes, or 50.91 percent, to Simpson’s 11,175 votes, or 49.09 percent, after Friday’s count. Waddell carried 50.58 percent of the vote on election day Tuesday.

Clallam County Commissioner Bill Peach maintained Friday a 6-percentage-point lead on former Clallam County Commissioner Mike Doherty in District 3.

Peach had 4,353 votes, or 53.13 percent, to Doherty’s 3,840 votes, 46.87 percent, after the Auditor’s Office counted additional ballots from the western district.

Here are how the other contested races stood after Friday’s count:

• Clallam County Community Development director — Incumbent Mary Ellen Winborn, 18,390 votes, or 62.34 percent; Julie Gardiner, 11,110 votes, or 37.66 percent

• Clallam County prosecuting attorney — Incumbent Mark Nichols, 19,223 votes, or 58.16 percent; Selinda Barkhuis, 13,831 votes, or 41.84 percent.

• Clallam County sheriff — Incumbent Bill Benedict, 22,922 votes, or 71.72 percent; Jim McLaughlin, 9,039 votes, or 28.28 percent.

State, Congress

Outcomes did not change with more counts in the Legislative District 24 races for position 1 and 2, where incumbents held their seats.

In the Position 1 race, incumbent Mike Chapman, 55, a Port Angeles Democrat bested challenger Jodi Wilke, a Port Townsend Republican.

In Legislative District 24 Position 2 incumbent Democrat Steve Tharinger, 69 of Port Townsend defeated his opponent Republican Jim McEntire, 68, of Sequim.

In the race for Congressional District 6 seat, incumbent Democrat Derek Kilmer, 44, from Gig Harbor, won a fourth term in the race against Douglas Dightman, 48, a Shelton Republican. District 6 includes the North Olympic Peninsula.

Incumbent Senator Maria Cantwell, 60, a Democrat from Edmonds, won a fourth term defeating Republican challenger Susan Hutchison, 64, from Seattle.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].

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