Kevin Van De Wege declares victory

Beauvais awaits more counts

Kevin Van De Wege

Kevin Van De Wege

Democrat state Sen. Kevin Van De Wege declared victory Wednesday in his bid for reelection to his 24th Legislative District seat against Republican Connie Beauvais, who said she would wait for all the ballots to be counted.

Van De Wege, 46, a lieutenant in the Sequim Fire Department, out-polled Beauvais, 69, a Port of Port Angeles commissioner, in Clallam and Jefferson counties, while Beauvais garnered more votes in Grays Harbor County.

Van De Wege was ahead in all but one precinct — Brinnon — in Jefferson County and about two-thirds of Clallam County’s precincts.

In Clallam County, the former five-term state representative won about 65 percent of the precincts, including all six Sequim precincts and 11 of 13 Port Angeles precincts.

Beauvais recorded strong totals in rural areas, including her home precinct of Joyce, where she works full time as the Crescent Water District manager; Agnew east of Port Angeles, and the Clallam Bay, Bogachiel and Forks precincts on the West End, although she lost Neah Bay.

Friends texted Van De Wege on Tuesday night after initial results were posted online to congratulate him for winning.

“I was like, yeah, I won,” he recalled thinking.

“I don’t see a way the results could change with further counting.”

Connie Beauvais

Connie Beauvais

Responding to a request for an interview, Beauvais said in a text message that she was driving Wednesday and attending meetings.

She forwarded a statement thanking voters for supporting her and noting the large voter turnout.

“The next four years will be pivotal for our economy, environment, education and health care,” she said.

“If I am ahead at the end of the ballot count, I look forward to the opportunity to have a positive impact on these issues.

“I would like to thank Kevin for a respectful campaign.”

Van De Wege was still irked Wednesday by Beauvais’ aggressive TV campaign, accusing her six times of lying during the campaign.

numbers

Beauvais’ 29-second commercial, repeatedly airing locally on national cable TV outlets and Dish TV, featured a “Where’s Kevin?” theme that questioned his commitment to serving the district.

“I felt my opponent’s lies did not connect with voters,” Van De Wege said. “I think her biggest lie was the ‘Where’s Kevin?’ ”

“I’m obviously a public servant,” he said of being a firefighter. “That was incredibly poor messaging.”

Beauvais did not respond to a text message asking her to comment on the accusation.

“As I’ve gone out and talked to people, they say, ‘So who is the senator?’ or ‘Who is Kevin?’ No one’s ever seen him. That’s the crux of the whole thing,” she said in an Oct. 25 interview in Peninsula Daily News.

Van De Wege outpolled her 55 percent to 45 percent in the Aug. 4 primary, winning Clallam County with 51 percent and losing Grays Harbor but winning Jefferson County 71 percent to 29 percent.

Van De Wege drew more support from Jefferson County after the ad ran.

________

Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at pgottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

More in Politics

House, Senate release spending proposals

Supplemental budgets to be negotiated

Plan to cap how much landlords can raise rent moves ahead

Statewide caps on annual rent increases could take effect in… Continue reading

State House approves unemployment benefits for strikers

Workers who are on strike or locked out of their… Continue reading

Chapman explains votes

Rep. Mike Chapman was among the few Democrats who voted… Continue reading

Democrats Franz, Randall stockpile cash in battle for US House position

Cash is flowing into campaign coffers of two Democrats dueling for an… Continue reading

Ruling: Trump to stay on primary ballot

Eight voters argued Jan. 6 actions made him ineligible

Should police be allowed to engage in high-speed pursuits if they just suspect someone is engaged in a crime? The state Legislature is set to debate that issue following verification of a citizen initiative that gives police more leeway in decision making. (Mary Murphy/Washington State Journal)
State Legislature to debate high-speed police pursuits

Initiative 2113 would amend law to be ‘reasonable suspicion’

State officials turn to schools in opioid fight

Legislation would require fentanyl-use prevention education once per year

Eight voters challenge Trump on Washington state ballot

Kitsap judge to hear arguments Tuesday

Nisqually Tribal Chairman Willie Frank III, right, discusses the newly designed statue mockup of his father, Billy Frank Jr., with other attendees at Wednesday’s unveiling. A full-scale, bronze statue of Billy Frank Jr. will be placed in the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C., next year. (Laurel Demkovich/Washington State Standard)
Design unveiled for Billy Frank Jr. statue at U.S. capitol

Bronze rendering will honor Native American fishing rights activist

Members of the House, including Rep. Michelle Caldier, R-Gig Harbor, and Rep. Eric Robertson, R-Sumner, at front, walk into the House chambers during opening ceremonies on the first day of the legislative session at the Washington state Capitol on Monday in Olympia. (Lindsey Wasson/The Associated Press)
Legislature kicks off with a housing focus

Fentanyl deaths, climate change top topics as well