Leads narrow but outcomes unchanged after second count of ballots in Jefferson County

PORT TOWNSEND — Leads narrowed in contested races for the Jefferson Healthcare hospital and the Port of Port Townsend commissions after a second count of general election ballots on Thursday, but no outcomes changed from those announced after the first count of ballots Tuesday.

The Jefferson County Auditor’s Office counted 2,927 ballots Thursday, bringing the total number of ballots cast to 15,042 ballots, for a turnout of 61.53 percent out of 24,447 registered voters.

No more counts of ballots are scheduled until the election is certified Nov. 28.

Bruce McComas won the Position 1 hospital commission seat by 108 votes. After Tuesday’s initial count, he led Cheri Van Hoover by 355 votes.

McComas has 50.41 percent, or 6,638 votes, while Van Hoover took 49.59 percent, or 6,530 votes.

The two candidates were neck-and-neck in almost every voting precinct, besting each other by sometimes as little as five votes.

The race between McComas and Van Hoover has been tight from the start. In the August primary vote, Van Hoover beat McComas by only 284 votes, 3,416 votes to 3,132 votes.

In the race for the Port of Port Townsend District 2 seat, Bill Putney’s lead over incumbent Brad Clinefelter narrowed to 335 votes.

Putney has 51.48 percent of the vote, or 5,810 votes, while Clinefelter has 48.52 percent, or 5,475 votes.

Clinefelter made up some ground after the initial ballot count on Tuesday put him at 47.66 percent, just behind Putney’s 52.34 percent.

Incumbent Pete Hanke, who ran against Keith Beck for Port Commissioner, District 3, won with 62.53 percent of the vote to Beck’s 37.47 percent.

Proposition 1, which saw just over 70 percent of voters reject the proposition after Tuesday’s initial ballot count, was slightly less soundly rejected, with 68.19 percent rejecting Prop. 1 and 31.81 percent in favor of the proposition after Thursday’s ballot count.

The measure lost in every voting precinct.

Chimacum School Board incumbent Sarah Martin held her District 1 seat with 52.84 percent of the vote to challenger Ron Riggle’s 47.16 percent.

The Chimacum School Board will also see Jack McKay serving in the District 5 seat. McKay took 56.23 percent of the vote to Wilma Hackman’s 43.77 percent.

Brian Kuh, running against Jon Kirshbaum for the Position 2 seat on the Sequim School Board, won with 5887 votes, or 66.13 percent to Kirshbaum’s 3,015 or 33.86 percent. Kuh won 5,821 votes, or 66.17 percent in Clallam County and 66 votes, or 62.88 percent in Jefferson County, while Kirshbaum won 2,976 votes, or 33.83 percent in Clallam County and 39 votes, or 37.14 percent in Jefferson County

Nola Judd won the Position 4 seat against

Brandino Gibson won the Sequim School Board’s Position 4 seat with 5,403 votes, or 60.59 percent to Nola Judd’s 3,548 votes, or 39.40. Gibson took 5,403 votes, or 60.78 percent, in Clallam County and 54 votes, or 46.55 percent in Jefferson County while Judd took 3,486 votes, or 39.22 percent in Clallam County and 62 votes, or 53.45 percent, in Jefferson County.

Appointee Art Frank beat Wayne Siscoe for Position 1 on the Quilcene Fire District commission with 71.61 percent of the vote to Siscoe’s 28.39 percent.

In Clallam-Jefferson Fire Protection District 1, which covers the Forks area, Tony Romberg won over Neris Biciunas and John Witherspoon for Position 5 in an unusual race for a general election.

Romberg won 514 votes, or 73 percent with 511 votes in Clallam County and 3 votes in Jefferson County.

Romberg was appointed to the post after incumbent Lowell McQuoid’s fellow commissioners removed him from office May 14, saying he had violated the district’s meeting-attendance policy by missing too many meetings.

The district did not notify the Clallam County Auditor’s Office in time to provide, as mandated by state law, at least three days in the regular filing period for candidates to file for McQuoid’s unexpired term of four years.

Three candidates filed for the position during a special May 30-June 1 filing period for the general election.

The general election winner will be seated after the vote is certified Nov. 28.

In other Forks Fire District races, Dustin Kraft beat Jodi Riker for Position 1 with 72.82 percent of the vote and incumbent Chet Hunt lead Britni Duncan for Position 2 with 69.21 percent of the vote.

In Clallam-Jefferson Fire District 3, which includes Sequim and edges into Jefferson County, appointee Steven Chinn held onto his Position 2 seat over Sean Ryan. Chinn took 8,198 votes, or 80.80 percent over 1,947, or 19.19 percent total.


Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at cmcfarland@peninsuladailynews.com.