SEQUIM — Jodi Wilke is registered with the Public Disclosure Commission to run for state representative in the 2020 general election but she said she is not running for public office and that she was unaware she was a registered candidate.
“I’m not a candidate for anything,” Wilke said following a town hall on the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s planned Healing Campus on Thursday.
“I don’t [intend to run] at this time, especially after the results of the primary election,” said the Port Hadlock resident who is a co-leader of Save Our Sequim.
She suggested that her former treasurer, Peter Heisel, might have registered her as a candidate to fulfill financial obligations with the PDC. Her candidate registration was filed with the Public Disclosure Commission on Feb. 11, 2019.
Heisel said he did not file the registration.
Wilke, a Republican who unsuccessfully tried to unseat Democrat Mike Chapman of Port Angeles in the 2018 election for the District 24 seat, is helping to lead Save Our Sequim in opposition to the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s planned Healing Campus.
The first phase of the project involves a 15,000 square-foot medication-assisted treatment center with wraparound services to treat people with opioid-use disorder.
Many, including Wilke, oppose the location of the facility, which is on the west side of Sequim near Costco.
Kim Bradford, a PDC spokesperson, said that Wilke’s registration with the PDC does not mean she will appear on the ballot in 2020.
Wilke would need to file with election officials during filing week next year to appear on the ballot.
“People who are doing any kind of fundraising, making expenditures in anticipation of a future election do need to register as candidates,” Bradford said.
She said some would-be candidates never follow up to put their name on the ballot.
“I’m not saying it happens a whole lot, but it does happen,” Bradford said. “Every year we have people who don’t file.”
She said some will continue to pay for websites in anticipation of running again.
Heisel said his involvement since January has been to file reports on spending. Money has been paid through April to maintain the campaign website.
He told Wilke she would need to file her registration if she wanted to keep her website, he said.
He said that Wilke might not remember filing the registration or that when he created an account for paying bills, that created a registration.
“You are supposed to file a C1 to create a campaign; you can’t create a campaign without filing a C1,” Heisel said, referring to the registration form. “In order to spend the money, she had to create the campaign.”
Expenditure reports filed with the PDC through May show that Wilke’s campaign has paid monthly to keep her website, electjodiwilke.com, active. Records show that her website, created March 22, 2018, has not been updated since Oct. 2, 2018. The website expires March 22, 2020.
According to the reports filed with the PDC, the campaign’s starting balance was $1,401.19. Wilke has spent $723.64. Of that, $359.94 are non-itemized expenditures — expenditures of $50 or less. The itemized expenditures— $363.70 — are from January through April and include four months of fees for her campaign website.
On her website are instructions for how to donate, though her PDC filings do not show any contributions.
Wilke said in a Facebook post that her Facebook page is the remnants of her campaign from last year.
“I haven’t deleted it only because I have some sentimental feelings about this experience and don’t know much about Facebook in terms of archiving it,” she wrote.
Wilke’s name is on a gofundme site for Save Our Sequim. It was created July 13 by Inga Able on behalf of Jodi Wilke to raise $5,000. As of Wednesday, it had raised $7,025.
Wilke said on her Facebook page that her name was used only because it needed a bank account to connect to. She said that funds raised for Save Our Sequim will never go toward her political campaign, but will be used for Save Our Sequim.
“I am not running for any office. After the results of the 2019 primary in Sequim it is hard to see the point,” Wilke wrote. “We all know who supports this Methadone clinic, yet it is still a party line vote.”
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].
Executive Editor Leah Leach contributed to this report.