PORT ANGELES — Challenger Dave Neupert has raised nearly four times as much as his opponent, sitting Judge Brian Coughenour, in his quest to become Clallam County’s next Superior Court judge in the Nov. 8 general election.
Gov. Jay Inslee appointed Coughenour on May 14, 2015, to fill the unexpired Position 2 term of retiring Judge George L. Wood, a position for which Neupert also applied.
The winner takes office after the election is certified Nov. 29 at a salary of $168,870 for a four-year term that ends Dec. 31, 2020.
Either Coughenour or Neupert will preside over civil and felony-criminal trials and hear appeals from lower courts and small-claims court.
In campaigns with large amounts of self-financing, Neupert has raised $38,392 to Coughenour’s $11,740, according to the candidates’ financial public disclosure statements recorded on the state Public Disclosure Commission’s website at www.pdc.wa.gov as of Thursday.
Neupert, an attorney who retired from Platt Irwin Law Firm in Port Angeles in December, has contributed $19,100 to his campaign and loaned it $6,000. He had contributed to and loaned his campaign $14,100 by Aug. 3.
Coughenour has contributed $315 to his campaign and loaned it $10,000 — $5,000 each in July and October.
Neupert has 63 campaign contributions listed with the PDC compared to Coughenour’s three.
“Obviously he’s raised four times as much as I have,” Coughenour said Thursday, adding he did not have much else to say about campaign fundraising and spending.
“Frankly, I have never paid attention to what my opponent is expending,” he said.
Coughenour has spent most of his funds on newspaper and radio advertising, yard signs, fliers and stickers, according to his PDC filings.
“I don’t have time to doorbell,” he added. “I’m doing the job.”
Neupert has put so much of his own money into the campaign “because I believe in my campaign and the candidacy,” he said.
Twenty-one of his 38 contributions of $100 or more are from outside Clallam County.
“I know folks across the state, certainly, who support me in this,” Neupert said.
His supporters from outside the area “certainly wouldn’t be appearing” before him if he wins, thereby eliminating potential conflicts.
He said he has broad support from Clallam County contributors, too.
Neupert spent more than $14,000 on direct mail expenditures, $2,000 for a campaign-consultant spending, $1,000 for consultant services and $1,000 for a campaign manager, according to his PDC filings.
He also has been knocking on doors.
“I have found that that is the best way to connect directly with voters and to learn their concerns about the court,” he said.
Superior Court Judges Erik Rohrer, Position 1, and Christopher Melly, Position 3, also are on the Nov. 8 ballot for four-year terms and are unopposed.
Here is information from financial disclosure statements for Neupert’s and Coughenour’s campaigns filed with the state Public Disclosure Commission that were listed on the PDC’s website as of Thursday:
• Total raised: $11,740.
• Total spent: $9,757.
• Cash contributions: $1,300.
• In-kind contributions: $125.
• Anonymous: $0.
• Personal: $315.
• Loans (debt): $10,000.
• Small contributions: $0.
Contributions of $100 or more:
• $500: Ramirez & Walker PLLC, Bainbridge Island.
• $100: Christopher Shea, Sequim.
• Total spent: $29,259.
• Cash contributions: $8,635.
• In-kind contributions: $50.
• Anonymous: $20.
• Personal: $19,100.
• Loans (debt): $6,000.
• Small contributions: $290.
Contributions of $100 or more:
• $1,000: Don Tucker, Sequim.
• $750: Ann Neupert, Camano Island.
• $500: John D. Crow, Port Angeles; Ann Neupert, Camano Island; David Price, Sequim; International Union of Operating Engineers Local 302, Bothell.
• $300: Wayne Huston, Tacoma; Suzanne Orr, Port Angeles.
• $250: JACE Sequim Inc., Scott Koenigsaecker, Sequim; Richard Manning, Port Angeles; Stephen Neupert, Kingston.
• $200: Madeleine Morrison, Mercer Island; John Brewer, Port Angeles; Ben Critchlow, Port Townsend.
• $150: Elizabeth Perez, Rick Perez, Sequim; Ben Bena, Longview.
• $125: Jane Brae-Bedell, Longview; Gordon Kapke, Nancy Kapke, Sequim; Anthony Neupert, Julie Neupert, Bothell.
• $100: Thomas Arnold, Olympic Peninsula Building Construction Trades Council AFL-CIO, Barry Suta, Katherine Suta, Port Angeles; Peggy Ann Bierbaum, Richard Davies, Quilcene; Jeffrey Frank, Douglas Hoisington, Seattle; Wayne Fricke, Gig Harbor; Barbara Helen, Westport; Marie Huston, William Huston, Tacoma; Kevin Keith, Milwaukee, Ore.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].