Clallam County primary ballot blossoms

Former Port Angeles Mayor Karen Rogers files for hospital seat

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County’s primary election ballot grew to six races Thursday, including a three-person contest that will include former Port Angeles Mayor Karen Rogers, who filed for an Olympic Medical Center board seat being vacated by four-term hospital Commissioner Jim Leskinovitch.

Leskinovitch, the former board chair, said Thursday he will endorse Rogers, who was elected to the City Council in 2001, served as mayor from 2006 to 2007, and did not seek re-election in 2009.

Rogers, a Port Angeles business consultant, filed for the at-large seat also being sought by Heather Jeffers and Steven C. Blackham, bringing the total number of candidates who have filed for 38 seats on the county’s Nov. 2 general election ballot to 61 as of 4 p.m. Thursday.

The filing week ends at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

Leskinovitch, who will have served 24 years on the board at the end of this year, said Thursday he heard Rogers might run for the position. He told Peninsula Daily News on Wednesday he was undecided about seeking a fifth term.

“It’s been a very enjoyable time for me to be able to move forward with our hospital and turn it into a medical center,” Leskinovitch said Thursday.

“It’s just a great, top 100 hospital in the nation. We’ve been at that kind of a level year in and year out, with our home health and cancer center and all that stuff.”

The top two vote-getters from the primary election will be on the general election ballot.

Port Angeles City Council races heated up, with primaries for two of four seats up for election on the seven-person council.

John Madden filed late Wednesday night and Samantha Rodahl filed on Thursday afternoon for the Position 2 seat held by Mike French, who is seeking re-election.

John W. Procter also filed late Thursday for a Port Angeles City Council Position 4 seat being sought by Jon Bruce and incumbent Kate Dexter, the council-appointed mayor.

Sequim School Board Position 4 candidates Virginia R. Sheppard, Rachel Tax and Derek Huntington also will be on the primary ballot.

They have filed for the seat held by School Board President Brandino Gibson, who did not return calls for comment Thursday about his election intentions.

Two more candidates filed for a Port Angeles School Board Position 2 seat that Jean M. Stratton filed for Monday. Jesse Charles and Gabi Johnson filed Thursday within fewer than three hours of each other, creating another primary race Aug. 3.

A contest for a Sequim-area Fire District 3 Position 1 became a primary race late Wednesday afternoon as Sean Ryan, who ran unsuccessfully for District 3 fire commissioner positions in 2013, 2015 and 2017, filed as a commissioner candidate for a fourth time.

Ryan, who also has run unsuccessfully for county Department of Community Development director and the county Charter Review Commission, will join Jeff Nicholas and Duane Chamlee on the primary ballot.

Incumbent Fire District 3, Position 1 Commissioner G. Michael Gawley had not filed for reelection as of late Thursday afternoon.

Others who filed late Wednesday through mid-afternoon Thursday were appointed officeholder Position 6 Sequim City Council member Keith Larkin and Quillayute Valley School Board District 2 incumbent Kevin Hinchin.

Kristi Schmeck, who filed Thursday morning for a Sequim School Board District 2 seat being sought by Patrice Johnson, withdrew her name later Thursday.

Below is a complete list of those who had filed for the Nov. 2 election as of mid-afternoon Thursday:

• Port of Port Angeles commissioner: Colleen McAleer, Sequim-area District 1; Steven Burke, Port Angeles-area District 2.

Port Angeles City Council: LaTrisha Suggs, Adam Garcia, Position 1; Mike French, John Madden, Samantha Rodahl, Position 2; Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin, Jena Stamper, Position 3; Kate Dexter, Jon Bruce, John W. Procter, Position 4.

Sequim City Council: Sarah Kincaid, Kathy Downer, Position 2; Vicki L. Lowe, Mike Pence, Position 3; Rachel Anderson, Position 4; Brandon Janisse, Patrick Day, Position 5; Lowell Rathbun, Keith Larkin, Position 6.

Crescent School Board: Sandy Middleton, Position 1; Joey Currie, Position 2.

Forks City Council: Tim Fletcher, Steve Wright, Mayor; Barbara Neilhouse, Clinton W. Wood, Position 2; Sarah Holmes, Joe Soha, Position 3.

Clallam County Hospital District 1 (Forks Community Hospital): Donald Lawley, Position 3; Sarah Huling, Linda Offutt, at-large Position 5.

Clallam County Hospital District 2 (Olympic Medical Center): J. Thomas Oblak, District 1, Position 2; Thom Hightower, District 3, Position 1; Heather Jeffers, Steven C. Blackham, Karen Rogers, at-large.

Port Angeles School Board: Sarah Methner, Position 1; Jean M. Stratton, Jesse Charles, Gabi Johnson, Position 2.

Sequim School Board: Patrice Johnston, Position 2; Rachel Tax, Derek Huntington, Virginia R. Sheppard, at-large Position 4.

Quillayute Valley School Board: Kevin Hinchin, District 2.

Cape Flattery School Board: Janine Ledford, District 1; Michael Lawrence, District 2.

Forks-area Fire District 1: Tony Romberg, Position 5.

Port Angeles-area Fire District 2: Keith Cortner, Position 2.

Sequim-area Fire District 3: Jeff Nicholas, Duane Chamlee, Sean Ryan, Position 1.

Joyce-area Fire District 4: Terry Barnett, Position 4.

Clallam Bay-area Fire District 5: Greg Bellamy Sr., Position 2.

La Push-area Fire District 6: Tom Rosmond, Position 3.

Clallam County Park and Recreation District 1 (Sequim Aquatic Recreation Center-YMCA): Ray L. Henninger; Position 1; Frank Pickering, Position 2.

Quillayute Park and Recreation District: Donald Grafstrom, Position 1.

Sunland Water District: Alan Frank, Position 3.


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

EDITOR’S NOTE: The nighttime closure of the Hood Canal Bridge has necessitated earlier deadlines to allow the Peninsula Daily News to get printed newspapers back from the press in Everett in time for delivery this morning. That means all filings on Thursday may not be included in this story. They will be picked up on Friday for Sunday’s paper.