Gilstrap, Smith head for November contest in Forks

PORT ANGELES — Mike Gilstrap and Danny Smith, candidates for Position 5 on the Forks City Council, will both likely appear on the Nov. 5 ballot during the general election.

Preliminary ballot results from Tuesday evening’s primary election and an other count late Wednesday showed Gilstrap in the lead with 144 votes, or 50.88 percent. Smith was second with 104 votes, or 36.75 percent.

A third candidate, Christina Kohout, will likely not appear on the ballot after receiving 32 votes, or 11.31 percent. Only the top two vote-getters move on to the general election.

Voter turnout for that position was at 17.18 percent, below the county’s overall voter turnout. The next count will be by 4:30 p.m. today.

Gilstrap, reached by phone Wednesday, said he feels good about the results.

“I know people and people know me,” he said.

Position 5 is currently occupied by Jon Preston, who is not seeking re-election.

Gilstrap speculated he earned the most votes because he was the only council candidate to participate in a League of Women Voters forum in June.

It was the only voter forum in Forks prior to the primary election.

“I think the article the other day when I did the League of Women Voters forum helped,” Gilstrap said. “Voters got to see who I am and what I’m about.”

Kohout and Smith did not return repeated phone calls Wednesday. Smith also declined to participate in the Peninsula Daily News’ North Olympic Peninsula Voter Guide for the primary election.

Gilstrap said the top issue he wants to see addressed is the Forks Police Department.

He wants to see the department be more proactive and have a greater presence in the community, he said.

He also wants the city to deal with infrastructure and expand and update the sewer. He would also like to see an off-road vehicle park built in Forks.

“That would be good for the city of Forks,” he said.

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Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at jmajor@peninsula dailynews.com.

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