WEEKEND REWIND: Clallam County Commissioner Mike Chapman says he won’t run for fifth term

Mike Chapman ()

Mike Chapman ()

PORT ANGELES — Mike Chapman said last year he would not run for a fifth term on the Clallam County Board of Commissioners in 2016 when, for the first time, only Port Angeles-area District 2 voters will select his successor.

But citizens keep asking about him running anyway, Chapman said Friday.

So, with the May 2-6 candidate filing week approaching for the Nov. 8 general election, the board chairman and four-term commissioner said he wanted to make it official.

“I felt people should know for sure that I’m not running again,” said Chapman, 52.

“At the end of the day, part of me thinks that a fresher approach for the organization is needed and new ideas are good for the county and the public it serves.

“I personally think I’m doing a good job, but I understand a lot of people don’t [think I am].

“I actually think I could have won.”

The former Republican, who later became an independent, has been urged to run for a fifth term since November, when he joined the Clallam County Democrats.

And he had said at a commissioners’ work session last March that he would not seek another term.

Party politics played a role in Chapman being perfectly clear about his intentions once again.

“It’s important for the two political parties to know that they need to find candidates for an open seat that gives them control of the [board of] commissioners for two years,” Chapman said.

Sequim-area District 1 Commissioner Mark Ozias, whom Chapman supported over incumbent Republican Jim McEntire, began a four-year term in January.

West End-area District 3 Commissioner Bill Peach, a Republican, is up for election in 2018.

The complexion of the race also changes with the overwhelming countywide passage in November of Home Rule Charter Amendment 1.

The measure mandated that county commissioners be elected by district instead of countywide.

County commissioner election primaries are already districtwide.

Chapman, who did not support the charter amendment, said the district-only aspect to the general election adds “an interesting dynamic” to the race.

District 2 lies in central Clallam County between Valley Creek in Port Angeles and Boyce Road west of Carlsborg.

A large portion of western Port Angeles is in District 3.

The boundary of District 3 has been creeping toward Carlsborg as the Sequim-area population has grown.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at pgottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

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