Incumbents did well in the initial count of primary election ballots in Clallam and Jefferson counties on Tuesday night as line-ups began to be formed for the November general election.
The state’s top-two primary election decides which candidates in races with three or more will go on to the general election on Nov. 7. Those who receive the top two votes will go on to the general.
Voter turnout in Clallam County was 31.82 percent with 12,967 ballots counted out of 40,745 provided voters. Voter turnout in Jefferson County was 19.73 percent, or 74 ballots counted out of 375 provided voters.
The next count in Clallam County will be by 5 p.m. today. In Jefferson County, it will be by 4 p.m. Thursday.
The only primary contests on the Jefferson County ballot were the Sequim School Board races. The Sequim School District extends slightly into East Jefferson County.
Voters in both counties cast votes for three nonpartisan positions on the Sequim School Board.
Also on the Clallam County primary election ballot was one Port Angeles City Council seat.
In the Sequim School Board race, Position 1 incumbent Larry Jeffryes — a former chemistry and biology teacher who’s served since 2019 — won a combined total of 4,676 votes, or 51.79 percent in Clallam and Jefferson counties, with the closest challenger being park ranger John Graham, who garnered a total of 2,562 votes, or 28.38 percent, in Clallam and Jefferson counties.
Data technician Jim Shepherd took 1,776 votes, or 19.67 percent in the combined total of Clallam and Jefferson counties.
Jeffryes garnered 4,618 votes, or 51.57 percent, in Clallam County and 58 votes, or 78.38 percent, in Jefferson County. Graham won 2,552 votes, or 28.5 percent, in Clallam County and 10 votes, or 13.51 percent, in Jefferson County. Shepherd won 1,770 votes, or 19.77 percent, in Clallam County and six votes, or 8.11 percent, in Jefferson County.
Former principal Maren Halvorsen won a combined total of 5,570 votes, or 62.18 percent, in Clallam and Jefferson counties for the two-year unexpired term of Position 4, a seat she now fills as an appointee.
Challenging her were former school board candidate Derek Huntington, who took a combined total of 1,843 votes, or 20.57 percent, in Clallam and Jefferson counties, and former educator Dean Christian, who won 1,527 votes, or 17.05 percent in a two-county total.
Halvorsen won 5,509 votes, or 62 percent, in Clallam County and 61 votes, or 83.56 percent, in Jefferson County. Huntington took 1,833 votes, or 20.63 percent in Clallam County and 10 votes, or 13.7 percent, in Jefferson County. Christian won 1,525 votes, or 17.16 percent, in Clallam County and two votes, or 2.74 percent, in Jefferson County.
Position 5 incumbent Michael Rocha won a combined total of 3,913 votes, or 43.66 percent in Clallam and Jefferson counties.
Challenger Sandra Kellso took a combined total of 3,201 votes, or 35.72 percent, despite her having withdrawn from the race; she withdrew too late to be removed from the ballot.
Hunter Gilliam garnered 1,833 votes, or 20.45 percent, in a combined two-county total.
Rocha won 3,885 votes, or 43.7 percent, in Clallam County and 28 votes, or 38.89 percent, in Jefferson County. Kellso took 3,166 votes, or 35.61 percent, in Clallam County and 35 votes, or 48.61 percent in Jefferson County. Gilliam won 1,824 votes, or 20.52 percent, in Clallam County and nine votes, or 12.5 percent in Jefferson County.
The general election race for the four-year Position 6 seat on the Port Angeles City Council will pit incumbent Navarra Carr against challenger Mark Karjalainen.
Carr won 1,996 votes, or 56.75 percent, while Karjalainen, a Sequim firefighter who lives in Port Angeles, won 1,151 votes or 32.73 percent in the first returns.
Nicholas Merrigan, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe project manager, won 351 votes, or 9.98 percent.
In the Clallam County commissioner District 1 race, incumbent Mark Ozias, Democrat, won 5,035 votes, or 64.97 percent, to Republican challenger Stan McClain’s 2,695 votes, or 34.77 percent. Although the race was on the primary ballot, it was not a top-two primary race.
Counties with a population of 75,000 or higher, including Clallam County, will post updated results daily. Counties with populations of less than 75,000, such as Jefferson County, are required to report at least every three days.