Clallam County: Nineteen races to be decided in election

Ballots due by 8 p.m. on Tuesday

Peninsula Daily News

General election ballots are due Tuesday as registered voters make their choices in 19 contests.

None of the non-partisan contests are countywide. Races are on the county’s two hospital district commissions; the Port Angeles, Sequim and Forks city councils; the Port Angeles and Sequim school boards; and the Fire District 3 commission.

In addition, residents are voting on several candidates with no opposition, as well as on three state advisory votes.

All completed ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday or placed in drop boxes by 8 p.m. Tuesday to be counted.

Nearly 26 percent — 25.98 percent — of the 57,152 ballots mailed to registers voters in Clallam County had been returned as of Friday, according to the Clallam County elections office. Of the 14,850 ballots returned, 165 had been challenged for problems with the signatures or other reasons.

In neighboring Jefferson County, nearly 29 percent — 28.82 percent — of the 27.575 ballots mailed to registered voters had been returned as of Friday, according to the county elections office.

In one of the races, one person on the ballot can’t serve. Kristi Schmeck, whose name is on the ballot running against Virginia R. Sheppard for the Position 4 seat on the Sequim School Board, cannot serve because she withdrew prior to the primary election.

Some residents of East Jefferson County will vote in this race as well as the contest for Clallam County Fire District 3, Position 1, between Jeff Nicholas, a retired U.S. Navy submarine captain, and Duane Chamlee, a U.S. Army veteran and retired California deputy fire chief.

Other contests on the ballot are:

• Sarah Huling, a diagnostic imager who has said she has resigned her position at the hospital effective Jan. 2, and Linda Offut, a retired manager for the Forks Timber Museum and appointed office-holder, are vying for the Position 1 seat on the Forks Community Hospital board.

• Two seats on the Olympic Medical Center commission: J. Thomas Oblak, incumbent and a retired director of environment and safety in hospitals, and Jim McEntire, a U.S. Coast Guard veteran and retired federal senior executive, are running for Position 2; and Heather Jeffers and Karen Rogers are seeking the at-large seat. Rogers is a small business owner and Jeffers is the executive director of a long-term nursing center.

• Forks voters will decide a mayoral contest as well as Positions 2 and 3 on the Forks City Council.

Incumbent Tim Fletcher is challenged by Steve Wright for the mayor’s post. Fletcher worked for 15 years in the timber industry. Prior to that, he worked as a network administrator in the tech industry, which included instruction at Peninsula College. Wright is an agrobiologist and a U.S. Air Force veteran.

The Forks council Position 2 race is between Clinton W. Wood and Josef Echeita. Wood is the director for facilities at Forks Community Hospital and a U.S. Army veteran. Echeita has been a counselor at Clallam Bay Corrections Center since he moved back to Forks in 2011.

Vying for the Position 3 seat on the Forks council are incumbent Joe Soha and Sarah Holmes, who has worked in the hospitality industry in Seattle but is currently a graphic artist and children’s author.

• Four of the seven seats on the Port Angeles City Council are on the ballot, and all are contested.

Mayor Kate Dexter, elected mayor by her fellow council members two years ago, is defending her Position 4 seat against retired veterinarian John W. Procter.

The race for Position 1 on the Port Angeles City Council is between appointee LaTrisha Suggs and Adam Garcia. Suggs is a member of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and works for the tribe. Garcia has lived in Port Angeles since 1992, is an Army veteran and currently works for the Veterans Health Administration.

Incumbent Mike French, a small business owner, is challenged for the Position 2 seat by John Madden, another small business owner.

For Position 3 on the Port Angeles City Council, incumbent Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin, an attorney, is challenged by Jena Stamper, a small business owner.

• In Sequim, five of seven positions are up for election.

Officeholders are Sarah Kincaid, Position 2; Mike Pence, Position 3; Rachel Anderson, Position 4, Brandon Janisse, Position 5; and Keith Larkin, Position 6. All but Janisse, who was elected in 2018, were appointed to the positions.

Kincaid’s opponent is Kathy Downer, a retired nurse. Pence’s opponent is Vicki L. Lowe, who has worked in health administration since 1996.

Anderson’s opponent is Darryl Ness, who had a career on the railroad system.

Janisse’s opponent is Patrick Day, former corrections officer.

Larkin’s opponent is Lowell Rathbun, a retired design engineer from Oregon.

• Two seats on the Port Angeles School Board are contested.

Incumbent Sarah Methner is challenged for her Position 1 seat by Lola Moses, a member of the Lower Elwha Tribe and an early education disabilities manager.

Mary Hebert, longtime administrator and teacher, and Gabi Johnson, an accounting manager, are running for Position 2 on the Port Angeles School Board.

The deadline has passed for voter registration online and by mail, but in-person registration can be done up to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the county auditor’s office.

Ballot drop box locations for Clallam County are:

• Carlsborg — 261461 U.S. Highway 101 near Sunny Farms, adjacent to Mill Road.

• Clallam Bay — 16990 state Highway 112 in front of the Clallam Bay Branch Library.

• Forks — 500 E. Division St. outside of Forks City Hall.

• Neah Bay — 1450 Bayview Ave. in front of Washburn’s General Store.

• Port Angeles — 223 E. Fourth St. in the courthouse circular drive, as well as a second one directly across from the disabled parking.

• Sekiu — 15 Sekiu Airport Road at the Public Utility District’s drive-up lane.

• Sequim — 651 W. Washington St. in the parking lot.

The Clallam County Elections Office plans two live-stream presentations, both at 9 a.m., one today and one Tuesday.

To access those, as well as to see an online voter guide and local voter pamphlet and find other election information, go to