2nd Republican to challenge Van De Wege

A second Republican will attempt to unseat state Rep. Kevin Van De Wege in this year’s general election.

Craig Durgan of Port Ludlow announced his candidacy late Monday evening.

Also challenging Van De Wege, D-Sequim, is Port Angeles real estate broker Dan Gase. Gase is also running as a Republican.

Assuming all file candidacy papers during the weeklong registration period next month, the top two vote-getters in the August primary election regardless of party affiliation or incumbency will move on to the November general election.

Durgan, a business owner and retired maritime engineer, describes himself as a fiscal conservative and social moderate.

In his written statement, Durgan criticized Van De Wege for voting to suspend Initiative 960, which allowed the state Legislature to raise taxes.

“I believe that government at all levels is out of control and is not responsive to the people,” he said in the statement.

“We the people is the sovereign in this nation but as of late it seems that the bureaucracy feels it is in charge and wanting to control our lives.”

While referring to himself as a 28-year union member, Durgan also criticized Van De Wege, a professional firefighter and paramedic, for being “too close to the state employees’ union and other special interests.”

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Reporter Tom Callis can be reached at 360-417-3532 or at tom.callis@peninsuladailynews.com.

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