Outcome unchanged in close race after third count of Clallam ballots

PORT ANGELES — General election results, including a close race for West End District Court 2 judge, remained static late Tuesday afternoon in the latest major count of ballots by the Clallam County Auditor’s Office.

Of 3,900 ballots in the Nov. 6 all-mail general election waiting to be counted as of Tuesday morning, 1,500 remained as of 5 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Auditor’s office.

Voter turnout is 72.37 percent, or 38,122 ballots of 52,674 mailed to voters.

The next ballot count will be today.

The county Canvassing Board will certify the election results Nov. 27.

In Tuesday’s count, Beaver lawyer John Black remained ahead of sitting Superior Court Judge Erik Rohrer of Forks for the District Court 2 position, with 1,256 votes to 1,244 votes, or 50.24 percent to 49.76 percent.

Black’s margin over Rohrer was 12 votes. Black was 15 votes ahead after the second count of ballots on Friday.

Except for one race, incumbents continued to rule the day after the third count of ballots.

Challenger Jim Waddell of Port Angeles remained ahead of 33-year incumbent Ted Simpson in the race for a Clallam County Public Utility District commissioner seat by 12,435 votes to 12,134 votes, or 51 percent to 49 percent.

Republican Port Angeles-West End District 3 county Commissioner Bill Peach was defeating Democrat and former county Commissioner Mike Doherty by 4,933 votes to 4,180 votes, or 54 percent to 46 percent.

Republican county Prosecuting Attorney-Coroner Mark Nichols of Port Angeles defeated former county Treasurer Selinda Barkhuis, who listed no party preference, by 20,566 votes to 14,778 votes, or 58 percent to 42 percent.

Department of Community Development Director Mary Ellen Winborn of Port Angeles defeated Julie Gardiner of Port Angeles, in the nonpartisan contest, by 19,618 votes to 11,932 votes, or 62 percent to 38 percent.

Sheriff Bill Benedict of Sequim defeated James (Jim) McLaughlin of Port Angeles, in the nonpartisan contest by 24,390 votes to 9,770 votes, or 71 percent to 29 percent.

Dave Neupert of Port Angeles was defeating Suzanne Hayden of Port Angeles, for the Port Angeles-area District Court 1 position being vacated by incumbent Rick Porter, who did not seek re-election.

The count Tuesday had Neupert ahead by 15,921 votes to 15,079 votes, or 51 percent to 49 percent.

State legislative races also remained unchanged.

In the 24th state legislative district, which covers Clallam and Jefferson counties and the northern half of Grays Harbor County, Democrat Mike Chapman of Port Angeles was defeating Republican Jodi Wilke of Port Townsend, and Democrat Steve Tharinger of Port Townsend bested Jim McEntire of Sequim.

Wilke and McEntire had conceded to the two incumbents Nov. 7, after the initial results were tabulated.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].

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