Johnson widens margin for spot on November ballot for Clallam County commissioner

Johnson widens margin for spot on November ballot for Clallam County commissioner

Randy Johnson is closer to securing a place on the Nov. 8 general election ballot in the Port Angeles-area District 2 Clallam County commission race after 6,000 additional ballots in Tuesday’s primary election were counted Friday.

PORT ANGELES — Randy Johnson is closer to securing a place on the Nov. 8 general election ballot in the Port Angeles-area District 2 Clallam County commission race after 6,000 additional ballots in Tuesday’s primary election were counted Friday.

Democrat Ron Richards was assured a spot on the ballot after the initial count of votes Tuesday. After Friday’s count, his total was 1,934 votes, or 37.77 percent.

Johnson, an independent, now has 1,303 votes, or 25.44 percent.

Republican Gabe Rygaard has received 1,144 votes, or 22.34 percent.

If the positions stay the same as more votes are counted in the all-mail election, Richards and Johnson will face off in the fall.

In Washington’s top-two primary, the two candidates who receive the most primary election votes advance to the November general election, regardless of party affiliation.

Johnson was ahead of Rygaard by only 88 votes in Tuesday’s count of 10,941 ballots. Friday’s count widened his margin to 159 votes, with 2,954 ballots left to count.

Clallam County Auditor Shoona Riggs said Friday those ballots will be counted by Tuesday.

Neither Johnson nor Rygaard could be reached for comment Friday or Saturday.

As ballots have come in the past week, the Clallam County voter turnout rose from 22.35 percent on Tuesday to 34.55 percent Friday, when a total of 16,940 ballots were counted.

Richards, 71, served in the county commission seat from 1976-80 and is a commercial fisherman.

Johnson, 73, is the former president of the timberland and wood products company Green Crow Corp. of Port Angeles and current chairman of the board.

Rygaard, 45, was featured on History Channel’s “Ax Men,” which highlighted his family-owned Rygaard Logging Inc. He is the owner of Ryfield Properties Inc., Port Angeles, and of Penny Creek Quarry of Quilcene.

Richards and Johnson are from Port Angeles. Rygaard is from Sequim.

In Jefferson County, a second count of ballots Friday confirmed the general election lineup of Democrats Kate Dean and Tim Thomas for the District 1 seat on the Jefferson County commission.

Dean has won 2,489 votes, or 62.49 percent, and Thomas has won 786 votes, or 19.73 percent, after Friday’s count of an additional 2,864 ballots.

The Jefferson County Auditor’s Office has counted 11,361 ballots out of the 23,638 mailed to registered voters for a 48.04 percent voter turnout.

That is the highest in the state as of Friday. Statewide, the voter turnout is 31.88 percent, with 1,307,865 ballots out of 4,102,5542 mailed to registered voters counted by Friday.

The next count in Jefferson County will be Aug. 16, when the county canvassing board certifies the election.

In the 24th Legislative District race for Position 1, Clallam County Commissioner Mike Chapman, a Port Angeles Democrat, has won 14,974 votes, or 46 percent district-wide, while George Vrable, a Port Ludlow Republican, has won 12,074 votes, or 37.09 percent.

District 24 covers Clallam and Jefferson counties and a portion of Grays Harbor County.

For more information on election outcomes, see the Clallam County auditor’s website at http://tinyurl.com/PDN-clallamprimary, the Jefferson County auditor’s website at http://tinyurl.com/PDN-jeffcoprimary and the Washington secretary of state website at http://tinyurl.com/PDN-primaryresults.

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Features Editor Chris McDaniel can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56650, or at cmcdaniel@peninsuladailynews.com.

Executive Editor Leah Leach contributed to this story.

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