Ozias among candidates filing for seats Wednesday

PORT ANGELES — The field of Nov. 5 general election candidates grew by double digits Wednesday as filing week passed the halfway mark.

New filers included former Fire District 2 Chief Steve Hopf, former Forks City Council candidate Mike Gilstrap, and Clallam County Commissioner Mark Ozias.

Ozias, a Sequim-area District 1 Democrat, filed Wednesday for a second term 34 minutes after the Auditor’s Office opened.

Only District 1 voters will cast ballots in the general election.

“I really enjoy being a commissioner, and I am deeply committed to much of the work that I’m doing right now and would very much like to seem some of it through,” Ozias said in an earlier interview.

He said if elected, his priorities will include moving the $24 million to $35 million Dungeness Off-Channel reservoir project forward and working on the comprehensive land-use plan as it relates to resources such as Olympic Discovery Trail.

Hopf’s filing for the six-year Fire District 2 position held by longtime Commissioner Richard Rudd created will force an Aug. 6 Primary Election contest for the position, which has two more days to draw candidates before the filing period ends.

Rudd and Keith Cortner also have filed for the position.

The top two votegetters will move on to the Nov. 5 General Election.

Hopf, a former King County firefighter, was Fire District 2’s first paid chief in the mid-to-late 90s, during Rudd’s tenure.

Hopf, 64, and Cortner, 60, are retired.

Cortner is a former Fort Myers, Fla., firefighter, he said.

Rudd, 91, has been a fire commissioner for more than 35 years, Chief Sam Phillips said Wednesday.

The district — 85 square miles from about Deer Park Road west to Lake Crescent, not including Port Angeles — has a 2019 budget of $2.4 million, nine full-time employees and 44 paid volunteers.

Eighteen more candidates filed for 68 available positions as of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, raising the total to 76 candidates, including 23 who have filed for 15 available Charter Review Commission seats.

Gilstrap, who lost a Forks City Council seat in 2017 to Joe Soha, filed for the City Council position being vacated by Bill Brager.

Jeff Gingell filed Monday for the position.

Filing at the Clallam County Auditor’s Office at the county Courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St., Port Angeles, continues daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Friday.

Candidates can file online until 4 p.m. Friday.

Information on open positions, voter registration and filing for candidacy is at clallam.net/Auditor/Elections.html.

Others who filed online or in person between 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and 4:30 p.m. Wednesday were Troy Tenneson, Sequim City Council position held by Bob Lake, who is not running; incumbents Greg Colfax and Donald Rhodes Baker, Cape Flattery School Board; incumbents Bill Rhode and Mike Reaves, Quillayute Valley School Board; incumbent Giancarlo Buonpane, Fire District 1 board of commissioners; incumbent Sam Nugent, Fire District 4 board of commissioners, and incumbent Robert (Chip) Keen, Fire District 6 board of commissioners;

New Charter Review Commission candidates are David Lotzgesell and Gary DeKorte, Sequim-area District 1; Allen Coleman, Jane Vanderhoof, Mary Doherty, Nick Spaeder, Patti Morris and Diane Haffner, Port Angeles-area District 2, and Rod Fleck, West End-Port Angeles-area District 3.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].

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