PORT ANGELES — Incumbent Mark Ozias was the clear leader in the primary beauty contest for the Sequim-area Clallam County Commissioner District 1 position.
Partisan races must be included on primary ballots — which are generally reserved for races with three or more candidates — even if only two candidates have filed. The results may be interesting but the vote that matters is in November.
Results from Tuesday’s initial count and another count late Wednesday showed Ozias, a Democrat, earning 4,181 votes to Republican Brandon Janisse’s 2,618, or 61.24 percent of the vote compared to 38.35 percent. Another count is planned by 4:30 p.m. today.
Those results mean Ozias will be listed first on the Nov. 5 ballot.
“I’m pleased to see the results and it encourages me to work hard between now and November so I can improve on that number,” Ozias said when reached by phone Wednesday.
Janisse, currently a Sequim City Council member, said he is “disheartened” at the results, but that he won’t “dwell in the past.”
“I’m moving forward and getting the word out there on what I would like to accomplish,” Janisse said. “I’ll continue moving forward doorbelling and letting people know what I stand for.”
Both candidates speculated that the higher voter turnout in their race, which was at 31.76 percent, could be attributed to the high visibility of the position and the interest surrounding the Jamestown S’Kallam Tribe’s proposed medication-assisted treatment center planned for Sequim.
The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe plans to build a $20 million facility.
The first phase involves building a 15,000-square-foot building to house the MAT clinic on a 20-acre parcel in Sequim. The second phase, which Olympic Medical Center will help with, involves adding a 16-bed inpatient psychiatric evaluation and treatment facility.
“I’m happy whenever people are paying attention to local government and choosing to use their voice,” Ozias said.
Ozias said that though county government is not involved with the proposed facility, he expects it to become a campaign issue.
“I understand why some folks who live in Sequim are concerned and understand many people have questions,” Ozias said.
“I’m well aware there is a lot of misinformation … and I’m going to do my best to provide accurate information.”
Janisse said he wanted to learn more about the proposal before taking a stand either way.
“It’s hard to give an answer without hearing what the tribe has to say,” Janisse said. “I have concerns, as everyone else does.”
Janisse said he plans to attend the tribe’s informational meeting concerning the facility this evening. It is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Guy Cole Event Center, 202 N. Blake Ave.
Ozias said his top campaign issue is working on building effective county government. He said that means to continue to work with commissioners and citizens around the county and to set priorities.
He said that means looking at capital planning, emergency management planning and facilities needs, and continuing to look closely at projects like the Dungeness off-channel reservoir.
Janisse said the top issue he would like to see addressed is housing.
He proposes opening “different allowable uses” to increase the amount of single-family and multi-family residences. He also wants to look at the county’s fee structures.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected] dailynews.com.