Clallam County commissioner hopefuls shrug off Johnson war chest advantage

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County commissioner candidate Ron Richards is unconcerned over the money advantage held by his opponent, Randy Johnson, as they face their electoral moment of truth this week, Richards said.

With Election Day looming Tuesday, Johnson had $42,045 in his campaign war chest, including a $12,500 loan, while Richards had $33,328, including an $8,500 loan, as of Friday, according to the candidates’ financial records on the state Public Disclosure Commission’s website, www.pdc.wa.gov.

Richards, 71, and Johnson, 73, are vying to occupy the Port Angeles-area District 2 seat held by four-term Commissioner Mike Chapman of Port Angeles, a former Republican who later became an independent and then a Democrat, who is seeking a 24th Legislative District Position 1 seat against Port Ludlow Republican George Vrable.

Johnson, an independent who has contributed significantly to Republican candidates but also to some Democrats such as former state Rep. Lynne Kessler of Hoquiam and former Clallam County Commissioner Steve Tharinger has 110 contributions.

Crow donations

They include $1,000 each from John D. and Gretchen Crow, founders of the Port Angeles timberland company Green Crow Corp., of which Johnson is president and a co-founder.

Richards, a Democrat and a former Clallam County commissioner, has 136 contributions, including four totaling $8,000 from the Clallam County Democratic Central Committee.

“I’m sure money always helps, but we spent what we wanted to spend,” said Richards, a commercial fisherman and retired lawyer.

This is the first Clallam County commissioners election in four decades that is limited to District 2, which covers east of Port Angeles and the city west to the Eight Street bridges.

“We had a plan on how to campaign, and we got enough money to execute that plan,” Richards said.

That plan included a reliance on newspaper advertising and mailers as well as doorbelling. His campaign had spent $31,363 as of Friday.

Richards was aided in his door-to-door efforts by Democratic County Commissioner Mark Ozias of Sequim, who also contributed $100 to Richards’ campaign.

“I did enough to get our positions across,” Richards said. “If [voters] like what they heard, I win. If they don’t, I won’t.”

Johnson, like Richards, said Friday he did not know what difference if any his money advantage gives him.

“You just don’t know,” he said.

Johnson’s largest expenditures included $14,200 for newspaper advertising and $4,829 to Laurel Black Design of Port Angeles for website design and hosting, graphic design and production of print materials.

“The issue was just how to get my name out to most of the people I haven’t met before, which is, of course, most of the people in our district,” he said.

Johnson, too, doorbelled “all over the place,” he said.

“I had the door slammed in my face by more than one person,” Johnson added.

Johnson said some people rejected him because he did not declare a party affiliation as a Republican or a Democrat.

“Some people said, ‘If you’re not a (D), I won’t vote for you,’ or ‘If you’re not an (R), I won’t vote for you.’”

There are more than 16,300 voters in District 2.

The new county commissioner will make $69,302 in 2017, not including benefits.

Here is information from financial disclosure statements for Johnson’s and Richards’ campaigns filed with the state Public Disclosure Commission that were listed on the PDC’s website as of Friday:

Randy Johnson

• Total raised: $42,045.

• Total spent: $40,022.

• Cash contributions: $25,769.

• In-kind contributions: $3,461.

• Anonymous: $0.

• Personal: $0.

• Loans: $12,500.

• Small contributions: $315.

Contributions of $100 or more:

• $1,500: John D. Crow, Port Angeles.

• $750: Dennis Yankovich, Karen Yankovich, Port Angeles.

• $1,000: Gretchen Crow, Shreveport, La.; Randy Johnson, Steve Wirth Enterprises Inc., Port Angeles; Elmco LLC, Eric Johnson, Leslie Johnson, Tim Johnson, Honolulu.

• $700: Ray Gruver, Port Angeles.

• $500: Linda Crow, Harry Bell, Del-Hur Industries, John Pope, Anthony Sample, Kathy Sample, Christine Anderson, Ralph Anderson, Lynn Kott, Richard Kott, Port Angeles; Jeanne Johnson, Renee Johnson, Hawaii.

• $375: Helen Schaaf, Norm Schaaf, Port Angeles.

• $300: Shirley Clark, Grant Munro, Port Angeles; Lynn McAleer, Mike McAleer, Sequim; proceeds from low-cost fundraiser.

• $250: Jim Bower, John Brewer, Melody Charno, Steve Hon Charno, Gary L. Ellefson, Julie P. Ellefson, Halsey Properties LLC, Jill Neske, Terry Neske, RJ Services Inc., Port Angeles; Donna Buck, James Buck, Joyce; High Energy Metals, Sequim.

• $150: John Calhoun, Judy Calhoun, Forks; David Gilles, Sequim; Jim deBord, Linda deBord, Port Angeles.

• $125: Christine Borchers, Leonard Borchers, Port Angeles.

• $100: Kaj Ahlburg, Edward Bedford, Charles Faires, Linda Faires, Jan Fischer, Mark Fischer, Marysue French, Marlene McCurdy, Thomas O. McCurdy, David L. Miller, Jack B. Roberds, Glenn Wiggins, Marie Wiggins, Port Angeles; Dave Brasher, Monique Brasher, Sequim.

Ron Richards

• Total raised: $33,328.

• Total spent: $31,363.

• Cash contributions: $21,926.

• In-kind contributions: $1,013.

• Anonymous: $200.

• Personal: $642.

• Loans: $8,500.

• Small contributions: $947.

Contributions of $100 or more:

• $8,000: Clallam County Democratic Central Committee, Port Angeles.

• $1,100: Gayleen C. Hays.

• $950: Ed Chadd, Port Angeles.

• $700: Kathryn Grosz, Sequim.

• $500: Sylvia Hancock, Sequim; Lisbeth Vance, Richland; Washington Teamsters Legislative League, Tukwila.

• $425: Bob Lynette, Sequim.

• $400: Olympic Labor Council segregated funds, Port Angeles.

• $350: Josey Paul, Joyce.

• $300: Johnathan Owen, Seattle.

• $250: Joseph Bogard, Vashon; Susan Chadd, Olympic Peninsula Building and Construction Trades Council; Richard Wingerter, Port Angeles.

•$240: Elisabeth Hegyi, Port Angeles.

• $200: Bob Hosek, Jean D. Sigmar, Lee Whetham, Norma Turner, Port Angeles; Pat MacRobbie, Sequim.

• $175: Bill Atkinson, Janet Atkinson, Port Angeles.

• $150: Penney L. Van Vleet, Sequim.

• $100: Pamela Burson, Bill Kildall, Carolyn R. Marillo, Steve Reinhart, Pat Slaten, Suzy B. Studios, Jim Mantooth, Robbie Mantooth, Gene Turner, Port Angeles; Mary Bedinger, Carlsborg; Lisa Boulware, Eloise Kailin, Cathy W. Marshall, Alice McElroy, James Norvell, John Norvell, Mark Ozias, Joyce Wheeler, Tim Wheeler, Robert Sextro, Ann Sextro, Carlyn Syvanen, Stephen Vause, Sequim; Linda A. Herzog, Joel Kawahara, Quilcene.

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