Rohrer maintains led over Black for judgeship

PORT ANGELES — Erik Rohrer maintained his lead over John Black on Thursday by 24 votes in the race for West End Clallam County District Court 2 judge — after the Auditor’s Office tallied 55 more votes.

The office said on its website at https://tinyurl.com/PDN-clallamgeneralelection that it has about 40 more ballots to count on Nov. 27.

That’s also when the county Canvassing Board will certify the Nov. 6 election results.

After the fifth count of ballots in the Nov. 6 general election Rohrer, the sitting county Superior Court judge, was ahead of Black, a Beaver lawyer, 1,422 to 1,398 votes, 50.43 percent to 49.57 percent.

The margin as of Thursday is not great enough to trigger a mandatory recount under state law.

A spread of 14 votes or fewer would trigger the recount based on the count of ballots as of Thursday.

Rohrer and Black have not returned repeated calls for comment on the race since Election Night, Nov. 6, when Black held a four-vote lead.

The Auditor’s Office had tabulated 39,905 ballots out of 52,674 provided to registered voters, as of Thursday for a 76 percent turnout.

In the contest for Port Angeles-West End District 3 Clallam County commissioner, Republican incumbent Bill Peach of Forks on Thursday was celebrating his victory over Democrat Mike Doherty of Port Angeles, a former county commissioner.

Peach held a 686-vote lead, 5,268-4,582 votes, or 53 percent – 47 percent over Doherty, similar to the lead he held Wednesday.

“I’m very happy,” Peach said earlier Thursday. “I got out and did a lot of doorbelling,” he said,

Doherty, a four-term District 3 commissioner before deciding not to run for re-election in 2014, when Peach won his first term, said Thursday he did not expect to call Peach to congratulate him.

“He portrayed that he knew the routine and he should, he’s the incumbent,” Doherty said. “If you followed the campaign, I think I was the one out there taking risks on issues like climate change and other issues.”

Clallam County Public Utility District Commissioner, District 3, candidate Jim Waddell was the only challenger to defeat an incumbent, Ted Simpson, who had held the post for 33 years.

Republican county Prosecuting Attorney-Coroner Mark Nichols defeated Selinda Barkhuis, Department of Community Development Director Mary Ellen Winborn defeated Julie Gardiner, and Sheriff Bill Benedict defeated James (Jim) McLaughlin.

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

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