Chapman supports all three Democrats vying for his seat

PORT ANGELES — State Rep. Mike Chapman has thrown his support to all three Democratic contenders who have said they are vying for his District 24 seat in 2024.

Chapman is running to replace Sen. Kevin Van De Wege in District 24. Van De Wege is seeking to be elected state Commissioner of Public Lands, a position now held by Hilary Franz.

Franz originally had announced a run for governor, but the day after U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer announced in November that he will not run in 2024, Franz announced she was switching to a campaign for Kilmer’s 6th Congressional District position.

All are Democrats.

Three Democrats have announced campaigns to fill Chapman’s seat in 2024: Makah Tribal Council member Nate Tyler, Sequim School Board president Eric Pickens and Adam Bernbaum, the former administrative assistant to Van De Wege.

All three have claimed they have Chapman’s support. Tyler and Bernbaum said Chapman endorsed them, while Pickens did not use the term endorsement. He said he has the backing of Chapman, who attended his campaign announcement on Dec. 9.

“I gave all three statements of support,” Chapman said Wednesday when asked to clarify his position.

“All are my friends. All have helped me in my job,” he said.

Chapman said it was “a little early” for him to be focusing on the November 2024 race. He has his attention now on the upcoming state legislative session, which begins on Jan. 8.

“They all bring something to the table,” Chapman said of the three Democrats he supports for his seat. “It’s great to have a big tent.

“I’m not trying to pick a winner or loser.”

One Republican, Matthew Roberson, a Clallam County deputy prosecuting attorney, has announced plans to run for Chapman’s seat.

He has not received Chapman’s support.

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Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3530 or at leah.leach@peninsuladailynews.com.

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