Chapman, Forde tactics differ in contest

Incumbent,challenger file financial reports

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Two Clallam County candidates are taking different paths to generate campaign contributions and get the word out to convince voters to elect them Tuesday to the state House of Representatives.

Democrat Mike Chapman of Port Angeles, the 24th District Position 1 incumbent in his second term after four terms as a county commissioner under his belt, never mentions challenger Republican Sue Forde of Sequim in campaign literature and has let sizable donations roll in without soliciting, he said.

As of Thursday, he was sitting pretty with $171,242 in contributions — including 18 at the maximum allowable $2,000 — at his disposal while spending just $31,834, a sizable portion of it on newspaper advertising, according to the state Public Disclosure Commission.

Forde, who is chair of the Clallam County Republican Party, had $55,203 in contributions as of last week, spending all but about $4,000 of it, including $4,693 in third-party expenditures made up mostly of $3,333 from the Washington State Republican Party for voter canvassing on her behalf.

She received $18,833 from GOP groups, including $2,000 from the Jefferson County Republican Party, $1,500 from the Clallam County Republican Party and $1,000 from the Grays Harbor County Republican Party.

Chapman won 56 percent of the vote districtwide in the Aug. 4 primary to the 28 percent garnered by Forde and 16 percent taken by Republican Daniel Charles Svoboda.

The district includes Clallam and Jefferson counties and half of Grays Harbor County.

Chapman won Jefferson by 70 percent and Clallam by 52 percent, while he polled 45 percent to Forde’s and Svoboda’s combined 55 percent in Grays Harbor.

Chapman, who said he has never directly criticized an opponent by name in an advertisement, said he ordered more newspaper ads for the closing days of the general election campaign after an aggressive advertising push by Forde.

Forde’s recent mailer included the bannered warning, “Seattle Riots & Lawlessness Coming to a Neighborhood Near You” on one side and “Sue Forde is the right choice for State Representative” on the other, although she did not refer directly to Chapman.

“It somewhat implied that because of me, the riots we saw in Seattle would be coming to the Peninsula,” Chapman said.

He also pointed to another recent Forde mailer that gave Chapman a large “F” report card grade “for failing Washington.”

“What’s disappointing is that we’ve never seen such over-the-top hit pieces,” he said. “Usually candidates just talk about what they want to do. I just think people are tired of over-the-top advertising.”

Forde’s “mailer for defending the police” listed in her expenditures, produced by Kansas City-based Axiom Strategies, cost $11,937, the same as another Axiom mailer stating her position against sex education Referendum 90, which Chapman supports.

She said the F grade was deserved for Chapman raising taxes, for getting an F from the National Rifle Association — which gave most House Democrats that grade — and for his stand on R-90.

She saw the statement warning of Seattle riots as “generalized” about the lack of action by Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee and a reflection of what she’s heard from 24th District residents about the need to defend police.

“The Democratic majority is lending itself to these types of things going on, and he is a Democrat, so it’s a broad brush,” she said.

“All I know is, his voting record on Second Amendment Rights is harmful to people here,” Forde said.

“I think we should be safe in our own homes and communities, I think criminals should be prosecuted, and I stand with law enforcement.

“That’s one area Mike and I agree on.”

The Gun Owners Action League, which gave her campaign $150, was one of the few out-of-county contributors.

“I was determined not to go to Seattle special-interest groups,” she said.

She has 26 contributions from Clallam and Jefferson counties — mostly from Clallam — who gave her $1,000-$200. Most of her contributions, by county, were from Clallam.

Chapman received $2,000 from the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and had six donations of $1,000-200 from Clallam and Jefferson counties, receiving $1,000 from the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe.

Twenty of Chapman’s 193 contributions as of Monday were from Clallam and Jefferson counties.

Unlike Forde, Chapman did not doorbell or conduct fundraising efforts because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

“To doorbell during a pandemic when people are hurting and financially stuck, I don’t think is right,” Chapman said, adding he did not activate the PayPal donation account on his website.

“I consciously made a decision not to fundraise from individuals,” he said.

Forde said she socially distances and wears a face mask while doorbelling.

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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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