PORT ANGELES — Randy Johnson widened his margin in his bid for a spot on the Nov. 8 general election ballot in the Port Angeles-area District 2 Clallam County commission race after a count of 6,000 more votes today.
Democrat Ron Richards is assured a spot on the ballot, having won 1,934 votes, or 37.77 percent.
After today’s second count of ballots cast for Tuesday’s primary election, Johnson, an independent, had 1,303 votes, or 25.44 percent, to Republican Gabe Rygaard’s 1,144 votes, or 22.34 percent.
Richards has been the top choice since the first count of primary election ballots Tuesday, but Johnson was ahead of Rygaard by only 88 votes in Tuesday’s count of 10,941 ballots.
Today’s count widens his margin to 159 votes, with 2,954 ballots left to count.
Clallam County Auditor Shoona Riggs said those ballots will be counted by Tuesday.
As ballots have come in this week, the voter turnout has risen from 22.35 percent on Tuesday to 34.55 percent today when a total of 16,940 ballots have been counted.
If the positions stay the same as more votes are counted in the all-mail election, Richards and Johnson will face off in the fall.
In Washington’s top-two primary, the two candidates who receive the most primary election votes advance to the November general election, regardless of party affiliation.
Richards, 71, served in the county commission seat from 1976-80 and is a commercial fisherman.
Johnson, 73, is the former president of the timberland and wood products company Green Crow Corp. of Port Angeles and current chairman of the board.
Rygaard, 45, was featured on History Channel’s “Ax Men,” which highlighted his family-owned Rygaard Logging Inc. He is the owner of Ryfield Properties Inc., Port Angeles and of Penny Creek Quarry of Quilcene.
Richards and Johnson are from Port Angeles. Rygaard is from Sequim.
In Jefferson County, a second count of ballots today confirmed the general election line-up of Democrats Kate Dean and Tim Thomas for the District 1 seat on the Jefferson County commission.
Dean has won 2,489 votes, or 62.49 percent, and Thomas has won 786 votes, or 19.73 percent, after today’s count of an additional 2,864 ballots.
The Jefferson County Auditor’s Office has counted 11,361 ballots out of the 23,638 mailed to registered voters.
The next count will be on Aug. 16 when the county canvassing board certifies the election.
For more information on election outcomes, see the Clallam County Auditor’s website at http://tinyurl.com/PDN-clallamprimary, the Jefferson County Auditor’s website at http://tinyurl.com/PDN-jeffcoprimary and the Washington Secretary of State website at http://tinyurl.com/PDN-primaryresults.