Election worker Phyllis Lawyer of Sequim sorts ballots on Tuesday at the Clallam County Courthouse in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Election worker Phyllis Lawyer of Sequim sorts ballots on Tuesday at the Clallam County Courthouse in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Most incumbents come out ahead in initital count of general election ballots

Peach behind, fire merger passes, next count Wednesday

Incumbents ranged ahead of challengers in state and regional races, as well as in Jefferson County contests, in initial returns Tuesday, while Mike French came in ahead of incumbent Bill Peach for the Clallam County District 3 seat.

Chief Criminal Deputy Brian King swept the race for Clallam County Sheriff.

Voter turnout for the midterm elections in Jefferson County as of Tuesday night was 56.69 percent, or 15,641 ballots out of the 27,443 ballots provided registered voters, with 948 still on hand. In Clallam County, voter turnout was 42.46 percent, or 24,328 ballots out of the 57,094 ballots provided registered voters, with 12,000 still on hand.

Both North Olympic Peninsula counties reported a larger turnout on Tuesday than that reported statewide, which was 35.54 percent.

The next ballot counts in the all-mail election will be Wednesday, by 5 p.m. in Clallam County and by 4 p.m. in Jefferson County.

Incumbent U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, a Seattle Democrat, had won 957,007 votes, or 57.27 percent, to Spokane Republican Tiffany Smiley’s 710,842, or 42.54 percent, in the first count of ballots statewide.

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer had 135,096 votes, or 61.8 percent, compared to Elizabeth Kreiselmaier’s 83,314, or 38.11 percent, for the 6th Congressional District seat, which includes the North Olympic Peninsula. Kilmer, a Democrat, and Kreiselmaier, a Republican, are both from Gig Harbor.

For the unexpired term of Washington Secretary of State, initial counts statewide were 561,787, or 51.87 percent, for appointee Steve Hobbs, a Democrat, and 489,793, or 45.22 percent, for Julie Anderson, nonpartisan.

In the races for seats representing Legislative District 24, which covers Clallam and Jefferson counties and part of Grays Harbor County, incumbent Mike Chapman, a Port Angeles Democrat, garnered 30,398 votes, or 59.35 percent, districtwide to Sue Forde’s 20,768, or 40.55 percent, for Position 1 in Legislative District 24. Forde is a Sequim Republican.

Chapman won 55.58 percent of the Clallam County vote and 72.78 percent in Jefferson County. Forde was ahead in Grays Harbor County, where she won 50.53 percent.

Incumbent Steve Tharinger, a Port Townsend Democrat, won 29,773 votes, or 58.4 percent, districtwide to Carlsborg Republican Brian Pruiett’s 21,175 votes, or 41.54 percent, for Position 2 in Legislative District 24.

Tharinger took 72.41 percent of the vote in Jefferson County and 54.34 percent in Clallam County. Pruiett was ahead in Grays Harbor County, with 51.63 percent of the vote.

Clallam County

French, a Port Angeles City Council member, won 12,815 votes, or 53.57 percent, in his effort to unseat County Commissioner Bill Peach, who won 11,080, or 46.32 percent, in the District 3 race.

King out-polled Marc Titterness in the race for Clallam County Sheriff, with 17,085 votes, or 77.02 percent, to the 5,049 votes, or 22.76 percent, garnered by Titterness, now a Port Townsend Police Officer and formerly a deputy with Clallam County. The two are seeking the position vacated by Sheriff Bill Benedict.

Ken Hays was leading incumbent Will Purser for a seat on the Clallam County Public Utility District in the initial count of ballots, with 9,049 votes, or 51.67 percent, to Purser’s 8,417 votes, or 48.06 percent.

Bruce Emery was leading Cherie Kidd 14,891, or 66.28 percent, to 7,507, or 33.41 percent, in the race to fill the vacated seat of Department of Community Development director.

Jefferson County

Incumbent Greg Brotherton garnered 10,451 votes, or 68.12 percent, while challenger Marcia Kelbon won 4,881 votes, or 31.81 percent, for the County Commissioner District 3 seat. Brotherton, a Democrat, and Kelbon, a Republican, both live in Quilcene.

Sheriff Joe Nole won 9,721 votes, or 67.78 percent, to challenger Deputy Art Frank’s 4,525 votes, or 31.55 percent.

A proposal to merge Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue with East Jefferson Fire Rescue was approved by 87.6 percent, with 2,571 in favor and 364 votes opposed.

A simple majority of voters in Port Ludlow was needed to approve the measure.