Clallam County Elections Assistant Aspen Smith, left, and Elections Manager Susan Johnson examine contested ballots on Tuesday at the Clallam County Courthouse. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Clallam County Elections Assistant Aspen Smith, left, and Elections Manager Susan Johnson examine contested ballots on Tuesday at the Clallam County Courthouse. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Incumbents do well in first count of primary election ballots

Emery, Kidd lead in Clallam DCD race; Brotherton, Kelbon in Jefferson commissioner contest

The first count of primary election ballots Tuesday night showed the apparent front-runners for contests in the Nov. 8 general election.

In races with more than two hopefuls, the state’s top-two primary — once all votes are counted — culls down the candidates for a position to two.

In Clallam County, the four-way nonpartisan race for the Clallam County Department of Community Development (DCD) director position was heading toward being narrowed to former DCD planner Bruce Emery, who had 4,899 votes, or 31.44 percent, and Cherie Kidd, former mayor of Port Angeles, who had 4,525 votes, or 29.04 percent.

Jesse Major — a public records analyst with the county, a former county code enforcement officer and a former reporter for the Peninsula Daily News — was in third place as of Tuesday night with 3,619 votes, or 23.23 percent.

Kevin Russell, a twice-former president of the North Peninsula Builders Association, had 2,388 votes, or 15.33 percent.

Clallam is the only county in the nation to have an elected DCD director.

In Jefferson County, a three-way race for the partisan Jefferson County Commissioner District 3 seat appears to be narrowed to incumbent Commissioner Greg Brotherton, a Democrat — who received 1,981 votes, or 56.21 percent — and Republican Marcia Kelbon, a chemical engineer and lawyer who retired from the biopharmaceutical company Omeros Medical Systems, who had 1,111 votes, or 31.53 percent.

Jon Cooke, former chair of the county Republican Party and now a state committeeman, received 429 votes, or 12.17 percent.

All three are from Quilcene.

Totals will change this week. Clallam County, because of its population, must count ballots by 4:30 p.m. daily in the all-mail election. Jefferson County plans its next vote count by 4 p.m. today.

The auditor’s office counted 16,476 ballots out of the 57,258 issued in Clallam County, for a voter turnout of 28.785 percent. An estimated 7,000 ballots were left to count. Challenged ballots numbered 245 on Election Night.

The auditor’s office counted 10,906 ballots of the 27,410 issued in Jefferson County, for a voter turnout of 39.79 percent. There were an estimated 561 ballots left to count. Challenged ballots numbered 168 on Election Night.

The statewide voter turnout was 19.7 percent.

In the state Legislative District 24 contest for Position 1, the general election lineup appears to be narrowed to Rep. Mike Chapman, a Port Angeles Democrat, and Sue Forde of Sequim, chair of the county Republican party, with Matthew Rainwater of Port Angeles in third place.

Legislative District 24 covers Clallam and Jefferson counties and part of Grays Harbor County.

Overall numbers were 20,692 votes, or 60.21 percent, for Chapman; 9,305 votes, or 27.08 percent, for Forde; and 4,348 votes, or 12.65 percent, for Rainwater.

In Clallam County, numbers were 9,213 votes, or 56.3 percent, for Chapman; 5,262 votes, or 32.16 percent, for Forde and 1,882 votes, or 11.5 percent for Rainwater.

In Jefferson County, numbers were 7,846 or 73.05 percent, for Chapman; 2,154 votes, or 20.05 percent, for Forde; and 733 votes, or 6.82 percent, for Rainwater.

In the state Legislative District 24 contest for Position 2, the general election lineup appears to be narrowed to Rep. Steve Tharinger of Port Townsend, a Democrat, and Republican Brian Pruiett of Carlsborg, with Democrat Darren Corcoran of Elma in third place.

Overall numbers were 18,492 votes, or 54.12 percent, for Tharinger; 13,318 votes, or 38.98 percent, for Pruiett; and 2,318 votes, or 6.78 percent for Corcoran.

In Clallam County, the numbers were 8,446, or 51.93 percent, for Tharinger; 6,985 votes, or 42.94 percent, for Pruiett and 814 votes, or 5 percent for Corcoran.

In Jefferson County, the numbers were 7,225 votes, or 68.46 percent, for Tharinger; 2,739 votes, or 25.95 percent, for Pruiett and 579 votes, or 5.49 percent, for Corcoran.

Leading in the 6th Congressional District were Democrat Derek Kilmer of Gig Harbor, who had 72,370 votes, or 52.61 percent, overall, and Elizabeth Kreiselmaier, a Gig Harbor Republican, who had 31,308 votes, or 22.76 percent, overall.

In the statewide race for a six-year term for U.S. Senator, Democrat Patty Murray, who’s held the seat since 1993, received 545,445 votes, or 54.18 percent overall in Tuesday’s count, while the candidate out of the 18 who came in second was Republican Tiffany Smiley, who won 320,073 votes, or 31.79 percent overall.

Final results for a two-year term for Washington Secretary of State, currently held by Democrat Steve Hobbs, will decide who replaces former Secretary of State Kim Wyman, who resigned to assist election security at the federal level.

Leading on Tuesday was Hobbs, a Democrat who is now filling the role, with 363,643 votes, or 40.84 percent overall. In a far second place was Republican Bob Hagglund, with 110,780 votes, or 12.44 percent.

The Clallam County commissioner District 3 seat between incumbent Bill Peach of Forks, a Republican, and Mike French, a Democrat who is serving on the Port Angeles City Council, as well as the contest for the Jefferson County sheriff’s seat between incumbent Joe Nole and Art Frank, who are both Democrats, will be on the Nov. 8 ballot.

First-night primary counts were 1,911 votes, or 51.29 percent for Peach and 1,809 votes, or 48.55 percent, for French.

Counts in the Jefferson County sheriff race were 7,006 votes, or 71.72 percent, for Nole and 2,694 votes, or 27.58 percent, for Frank.

Several seats were uncontested.

Election processing began shortly after polls closed Tuesday and could be observed via live stream on YouTube, reached through the Auditor’s Office website at for Clallam County and at in Jefferson County.

No tabulation equipment is connected to the internet or capable of wireless communication, and state law requires security measures be used to detect any inappropriate access to the physical security of the system, according to the state Office of the Secretary of State.

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