Kate Dean celebrates with Rennie and Fennegan O’Donnell and Bob Simmons after learning of her lead in the county commissioner race. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Kate Dean celebrates with Rennie and Fennegan O’Donnell and Bob Simmons after learning of her lead in the county commissioner race. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Dean leading Thomas for Jefferson County commissioner post

PORT TOWNSEND — Kate Dean was trouncing Tim Thomas for the Jefferson County commissioner, Position 1, seat in the initial count of general election ballots Tuesday night.

Jeff Randall held a commanding lead over Barney Burke, Jefferson County Public Utility District commission incumbent.

A measure in Brinnon to fund Jefferson County Parks and Recreation District 2 with a tax levy for the first time since voters created it in 2012 was under the 60 percent supermajority needed for passage.

Clallam County Commissioner Mike Chapman, a Port Angeles Democrat, held a commanding lead against Port Ludlow Republican George Vrable for the Legislative District 24, Position 1 seat in the House of Representatives, while incumbent Steve Tharinger, a Sequim Democrat, was headed for a fourth term in the Position 2 seat in his contest against John Alger, 63, also of Sequim, who filed with a preference for the GOP/Independent Party.

Kevin Van De Wege, a Sequim Democrat who now holds the Position 1 seat in the House of Representatives, was leading in the race with Danille Turissini of Port Ludlow, who filed as an Independent GOP member, for the Senate seat in the Legislative District 24, which covers Clallam and Jefferson counties and a portion of Grays Harbor County.

Incumbent Derek Kilmer, a Gig Harbor Democrat, also held a commanding lead in his bid for a third term representing the 6th Congressional District, which includes the North Olympic Peninsula, against challenger Todd Bloom, a Tacoma Republican.

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, a Seattle Democrat, was headed for a fifth term against challenger Chris Vance of Auburn, former chairman of the Washington State Republican Party.

Voter turnout statewide stood at 1,005,484 ballots of 4,266,776 registered voters, or 23.57 percent, by 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The Jefferson County Auditor counted 18,951 ballots, or 77 percent of the 24,493 provided registered voters, on Tuesday.

More may arrive in the mail this week.

The next ballot counts will be by 4 p.m. Wednesday and by 4 p.m. Thursday.

County commission candidates are vying for the seat now held by Phil Johnson, who did not run for re-election. Both are Port Townsend Democrats.

Dean, 42, is the regional director of the North Olympic Peninsula Resource Conservation & Development Council. She has never held public office.

Thomas, 46, ran unsuccessfully for Port Hadlock-area District 2 Jefferson County commissioner in 2012.

Burke, 61, of Port Townsend, was appointed to the PUD commission in January 2010 and was elected to the commission in November of that year.

Randall, 50, also of Port Townsend, is solar designer and sales agent for Power Trip Energy and an attorney.

The Brinnon Parks and Recreation property tax levy would be for 5 cents for every $1,000 of valuation. It would cost the owner of a $200,000 home $10 a year from 2017-2022, creating some $13,000 annually.

A minimum 60 percent supermajority must vote in favor of the levy for it to be implemented. Any future levies would require only a 50 percent-plus-one-vote majority for passage.

Chapman, 53, was elected to the Clallam County commission as a Republican in 2000. He later became an Independent and then a Democrat. Vrable, 72, has never held elective office. He declined to attend League of Women Voter forums during the campaign.

Tharinger, 67, served three terms as a Clallam County commissioner from 2000-12. Alger, 63, is a retired Air Force officer who has never held elective office.

Van De Wege, 42, is in his fifth term in the House of Representatives, where he serves as majority whip.

Turissini, 58, is a former grassroots director of Family Policy Institute of Washington. She has never held elective office.

Kilmer, 42, is a Port Angeles native who served in Legislative District 26 as a representative and a senator before he was elected to the 6th Congressional District. Bloom has never held elective office.

Murray was originally elected to the U.S. Senate in 1992. As well as serving as state GOP chairman from 2001-06, he served int he state House of Representatives from 1991-93.

Two Jefferson County candidates are uncontested. They are David Sullivan, District 2 county commissioner, and Keith Harper, Superior Court Judge.

Dean leading Thomas for Jefferson County commissioner post
Dean leading Thomas for Jefferson County commissioner post
Dean leading Thomas for Jefferson County commissioner post

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