Johnson, Coughenour widen leads in Clallam County elections

Randy Johnson

Randy Johnson

PORT ANGELES — Randy Johnson and Brian Coughenour widened their leads on their respective opponents in Tuesday’s general election after the Clallam County Auditor’s Office processed an additional 3,550 election ballots Thursday.

Clallam County commissioner candidate Johnson, who filed with no party preference, was ahead of Democrat Ron Richards 4,738 votes to 3,957 votes — 54.49 percent to 45.51 percent — after the county auditor’s office tabulated the ballots that arrived Monday.

Johnson, the apparent successor to longtime commissioner and soon-to-be state Rep. Mike Chapman, had 54.04 percent support from District 2 constituents in the first ballot count Tuesday.

Coughenour, a sitting Clallam County Superior Court judge, led challenger Dave Neupert 13,217 votes to 12,075 votes — 52.26 percent to 47.74 percent — after the second ballot count Thursday.

Coughenour, who was appointed to the post in 2015, had carried 52.05 percent of the early countywide vote Tuesday night.

The only change to the local election results was at the top of the ticket.

President-elect Donald Trump, who trailed Hillary Clinton by 319 votes in Clallam County on election night, was ahead by eight votes, at 13,741 to 13,733, as of Thursday.

All of the other leading candidates and ballot measures remained ahead when the second batch of ballots were processed.

County Auditor Shoona Riggs said there were at least 10,000 ballots left to count.

Ballots that arrived in the mail or drop boxes Tuesday will be processed with the next ballot count Monday.

In other contested races, a proposition to increase the number of Forks Community Hospital commissioners from three to five was passing with 69.96 percent support Thursday.

An advisory vote on banning fireworks in Sequim showed 70.24 percent in favor of prohibiting fireworks.

In the 24th Legislative District, which includes Clallam, Jefferson and part of Grays Harbor County, Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, led Danille Turissini, R-Port Ludlow, 58.3 percent to 41.7 percent as of Thursday.

Incumbent State Rep. Steve Tharinger, D-Sequim, led John Alger, R-Sequim, 58.5 percent to 41.5 percent.

Chapman, D-Port Angeles, led George Vrable, R-Port Ludlow, 61.8 percent to 38.2 percent.

The general election will be certified Nov. 29.

With more than 10,000 ballots left to count, voter turnout in Clallam County was 59.13 percent as of Thursday. The county auditor’s office had processed 30,151 ballots that were mailed to 50,987 registered voters.

Clallam County voter turnout in the last presidential election in 2012 was 82.14 percent.

In 2008, Clallam County voter turnout was 85.57 percent.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].

Brian Coughenour

Brian Coughenour