Clallam County vote count confirms winners

Turnout nearly 50 percent

PORT ANGELES — Winning margins registered by Election Night winners held firm Thursday, cementing city council results in Port Angeles, Sequim and Forks and bringing a new face to the Olympic Medical Center hospital board, which governs a tax district that stretches from Blyn to Beaver.

The Clallam County elections office had 650 more votes to count Thursday, leaving 50 more to tally in an election that generated more than 27,000 ballots cast and a turnout approaching half of all 57,166 eligible voters — 47.3 percent.

The winners included Heather Jeffers, administrator of Avamere Olympic Rehabilitation of Sequim, who soundly defeated former Port Angeles Mayor and City Council member Karen Rogers for the open county Hospital District 2 board position, 63 percent-36.6 percent.

In a second contested OMC commissioners’ race, incumbent Tom Oblak defeated Jim McEntire, a former Clallam County commissioner and former Port of Port Angeles commissioner, 56.65 percent-43.05 percent.

Other winners included a slate of candidates who changed the political complexion of the Sequim City Council, winning by large margins.

Kathy Downer defeated appointed incumbent Sarah Kincaid, 69.6 percent- 30.2 percent, Vicki Lowe beat appointed incumbent Mike Pence, 68.2 percent-31.7 percent, and Lowell Rathbun overcame appointed incumbent Keith Larkin, 65.3 percent-34.6 percent.

Kincaid, Pence and Larkin consistently voted with Mayor Bill Armacost, who was not up for re-election.

All were supported by the Independent Advisory Association, along with city council candidates Patrick Day and Daryl Ness. The IAA, cofounded by McEntire, also supports Armacost.

Incumbent Brandon Janisse defeated Day, 65.9 percent-33.9 percent, and incumbent Rachel Anderson beat Ness, 67.6 percent-32.25 percent.

Downer, Lowe, Anderson, Janisse and Rathbun were supported by the Sequim Good Governance League.

All four current Port Angeles City Council members retained their seats against challengers, including appointed incumbent LaTrisha Suggs.

Suggs defeated Adam Garcia, 51.15 percent- 48.6 percent.

Garcia said Thursday he did not see the point in conceding.

“I’m not even questioning the numbers,” he said.

“The election will be certified, and the winner will be declared, and that will be that.”

In other city council races, Mike French defeated John Madden, 58.9 percent- 40.8 percent, Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin beat Jena Stamper, 50.75 percent-46.9 percent, and appointed Mayor Kate Dexter defeated John Procter, 53.4 percent-46.3 percent.

In races on the Forks City Council, incumbent Mayor Tim Fletcher defeated Steve Wright, 84.6 percent-12.7 percent in the largest margin of victory in any city council race in the county. Incumbent Joe Soha beat Sarah Holmes, 67 percent-32 percent.

Clint Wood defeated Josef Echeita, 66 percent-34 percent, for a Forks City Council seat.

In a Forks Community Hospital District 1 commissioner race, Sarah Huling defeated Linda Offutt, 64.3 percent-35.5 percent.

Incumbent Port Angeles School Board member Sarah Methner defeated challenger Lola Moses, 54 percent- 45 percent, while Mary Hebert beat Gabi Johnson, 57 percent-43 percent.

Kristi Schmeck defeated Virginia Sheppard, 56 percent-43 percent for a Sequim School Board position. Schmeck, who told the state Public Disclosure Commission earlier this year that she was dropping out of the race, told the Sequim Gazette in an email Wednesday that she planned to call the PDC “and see what is required and what my options are.”

Jeff Nicholas defeated Duane Chamlee for a seat on the Fire District 3 board of commissioners, 65 percent- 35 percent.

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