PORT ANGELES — Incumbent Clallam County Commissioner Mike Doherty has won re-election to a new four-year term, edging past Phil Kitchel with 284 votes.
As election officials wrapped up the all-mail Nov. 5 election Thursday with a final count of about 5,000 ballots, Doherty had 12,949 votes to 12,665 for Kitchel.
The margin — 1.1 percent — put Doherty beyond the point where an automatic recount would be ordered.
The new vote count did not change any of the other races in the election.
Kitchel, a Republican who lives in Forks, had hoped to recapture the seat he lost to Doherty, a Port Angeles Democrat, four years ago.
Kitchel had a 103-vote lead Election Night, then Doherty went ahead by 72 votes in vote counting last Friday. The race was marked by heavy advertising spending.
Repeated attempts to reach Doherty at his home or the county Courthouse for comment on his victory were unsuccessful.
Kitchel said, “We’re just disappointed.”
“This was just not one that was going to work out. I’m just really impressed on the number of people who were supportive of my campaign.
“I wish Michael well and the county.
“I hope they can survive the upcoming budget crisis. It looks like things are going to get tough.”
—————–The rest of the story appears in the Friday Peninsula Daily News. Click on SUBSCRIBE to get the PDN delivered to your home or office.