Clallam County calls the race again

Voters choose winner for 10th straight year

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County called it again.

Clallam County is one of 19 counties among more than 3,200 counties in the U.S. to have picked every presidential winner since 1980, the Wall Street Journal reported in 2019.

Known as a bellwether county, Clallam also has picked every president correctly in all but two races since 1920, the first year women were allowed to vote.

Clallam voters were outliers for the Richard Nixon-Hubert Humphrey race in 1968 and the Gerald Ford-Jimmy Carter contest in 1976, according to Wikipedia.

Biden won Clallam County over Trump by 51.5 percent-46 percent, according to Friday’s count.

The split of votes followed the urban-rural split reflected in the rest of the U.S.

Dick Pilling, former chair of the Clallam County Republican Party and present state committeeman, commented on Clallam County’s “perfect string” and joked, “Maybe we could just dispense with all this election nonsense and just poll Clallam.”

Liz Bumgarner, chair of the Clallam County Democratic Party, said the county is home to a large variety of people who are independent, proactive and solution-oriented.

“They are people who don’t sit around saying, ‘Oh woe is me.’ … It’s not only that they’re smart; the people who are here — small business people, farmers, people who have been here for years — are used to taking action.”

Biden won 12 of 13 Port Angeles precincts and every Sequim precinct.

“I think the Democrats had the issues,” Bumgarner said.

Trump had strong 2-1 showings in both Forks precincts and in Beaver and Bogachiel, although Neah Bay on the West End had the strongest showing for Biden of any of the county’s 67 precincts, 373-81 for the former vice president.

Jefferson County was a different story, choosing Biden by 70 percent to 27.5 for Trump.

Biden won all 39 precincts, swamping Trump by a 6-1 margin in Port Townsend’s 11 precincts, including by 304-22 in Port Townsend 704.

“The outpouring of relief and happiness is just huge,” said Marty Gilmore, chair of the Jefferson County Democratic Party, on Saturday, adding that the celebrations were not confined to just the United States.

“I saw a whole stream of tweets from world leaders just ecstatic that the U.S. is back. We’re not isolated anymore. We can take our place in the world, dealing with the crises we have .

”The focus on the Trump administration has been so intense, people have been ignoring state and local issues,” Gilmore continued.

“We now have more time and energy to focus on climate change, forestry, education, transportation within the state of Washington, the pandemic and job creation.”

Not all in Jefferson County were pleased.

Jon Cooke, chair of the Jefferson County Republican Party, said he will wait until legal challenges are completed before accepting election results.

“The news media doesn’t proclaim who’s president,” Cooke said Saturday morning. “That comes at the end of what looks like a court battle.

“I think you guys have stepped into the pen with a pit bull.”

He said he does not underestimate Trump.

“You have to take note of the fact that he got 70 million votes. He has a huge number of people who are following him.”

Cooke said he planned to attend a “Stop the Steal” rally in Olympia today.

He said that “what we want is every legal vote counted,” adding that, unlike Washington state where votes must be postmarked by Election Day to be counted, Pennsylvania allows the tallying of mailed votes without postmarks.

NPR reported in October that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court said that ballots could be counted if they were received by 5 p.m. Nov. 6, as long as they were mailed by Election Day, Nov. 3, but also said that ballots without a postmark would “be presumed to have been mailed by Election Day” unless there was strong evidence to the contrary.

Gilmore pointed out that, as Forbes reported, Pennsylvania had issued guidance to counties telling them to segregate their ballots and not include them in the vote count.

“Those ballots have been segregated. Those are not in the count. Those will not affect the result,” he said, adding that he does not see “any evidence of fraud or malfeasance.”

Bumgarner conceded that many voted against Trump rather than for Biden, but added, “I think Biden was the perfect one to run against Trump. His personality and manner of working is so opposite of Trump.

“I’m not anti-Republican. I’m anti-Trump Republican,” she said.

Bumgarner said she was thrilled to have Kamala Harris as the first woman, and first Black woman, to serve as vice president of the United States.

“She is a symbol of what has to happen in this country.” Bumgarner said. “We have to recognize everybody for the talents they have.

Overall, it’s a “proud time,” she added.

“It’s the first time in four years that I’ve taken a deep, easy breath.”

________

Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3530 or at [email protected].

Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb contributed to this story. He can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].

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