Clallam: Commissioner candidates Doherty, Kitchel clash

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County Commissioner Mike Doherty and his election challenger, Phil Kitchel, blame each other for increases in the number of county employees.

The candidates have a unique relationship — Kitchel was seeking his second four-year term as a county commissioner in 1998 when he was defeated for re-election by Doherty.

Kitchel is now trying to unseat Doherty by criticizing what Doherty has done in the last four years.

The two men went up against each other Tuesday night during a televised debate on Northland Cable TV’s Channel 3 sponsored by Peninsula News Network and Peninsula Daily News.

Kitchel, a Republican who lives in Forks, said 378 people were employed by the county when he left office four years ago — and that number increased to 423 in 2001 before declining to 419 in 2002.

Doherty, a Democrat who lives in Port Angeles, laid the 1999 county employment increase at Kitchel’s doorstep, saying he was part of the three-member board of commissioners that authorized the budget.

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The rest of the story appears in the Wednesday Peninsula Daily News. Click on SUBSCRIBE to get the PDN delivered to your home or office.

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