Peninsula’s state, federal reps eye coming election

State Rep. Mike Chapman

State Rep. Mike Chapman

PORT ANGELES — The 24th District’s two state representatives and the region’s 6th District congressman — all Democrats — are well on their way to running for re-election this November.

First-term state Rep. Mike Chapman of Port Angeles registered as a candidate Aug. 11, according to the state Public Disclosure Commission.

He has raised $42,617, he said Sunday.

Four-term state Rep. Steve Tharinger of Sequim registered as a candidate Oct. 9, according to PDC records.

Tharinger has raised $37,377 for his campaign, he said Sunday.

The 24th District includes Clallam and Jefferson counties and about one-third of Grays Harbor County, including Hoquiam.

And U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, a Port Angeles native whose 6th Congressional district includes Clallam and Jefferson counties, filed a statement of candidacy for the 2018 election Jan. 1, 2017, two months after he won his third term in the November 2016 election, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Chapman, a former Clallam County commissioner, said he already had $10,000 on hand for his re-election campaign when he filed for a second-term.

The former Republican said Republicans have locked up the state’s rural counties except for Chapman’s seat and need one more seat to eliminate the Democrats’ 50-48 majority.

Chapman said that’s why he expects at least one Republican to go up against him.

“The Republican House leadership has made me the target,” he said.

“They are definitely organized and ready to go.”

Filing week is May 14-18 for the Nov. 6 general election for county, state and federal candidates.

A primary is Aug. 6 for races with three or more candidates to winnow down the general election selections to two for each race.

Chapman, vice chair of the agricultural and natural resources committee and a member of the transportation and public safety committees, said he deserves re-election.

He said his major accomplishment was securing $30 million to replace the Elwha River bridge on U.S. Highway 101, calling it “a teamwork effort” with Tharinger.

“Someone had to put in that budget request, and had to work that budget request, and that was me,” Chapman said.

Tharinger, chair of the Capital Budget Committee and a member of the Appropriations Health Care & Wellness committees, said he, Chapman and state Sen. Kevin Van De Wege of Sequim work together.

Van De Wege chairs the Senate Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources and Parks Committee and serves on the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

“I think the team of Sen. Van De Wege and Rep. Chapman and myself have provided good representation for the 24th District,” Tharinger said.

Tharinger said he’s focused his attention on improving rural health care and championed a pilot project — part of a statewide effort — to promote the use of cross-laminated timber (CLT), or layered, prefabricated wood panels.

Four new classrooms at Greywolf Elementary School in Sequim were built with CLT, an effort hailed at the start of construction in April 2017 in a ceremony that included Kilmer.

In Kilmer’s FEC Form 2 candidate registration, he designated the committee People for Derek Kilmer as his main campaign committee for the 2018 election and the Kilmer Victory Fund as the recipient of campaign contributions.

Kilmer had $2.5 million on hand as of Sept. 30, according to the FEC.

He raised $859,737 in contributions between Jan. 1-Sept. 30, 2017, including $478,084 in total individual contributions and $381,123 in committee contributions not including party committees.

People for Derek spent $370,913 in that period consisting of 435 disbursement transactions for expenditures including salaries, event expenditures and strategy consulting.

“Derek is focused on working hard to grow opportunities and good jobs in our region,” his spokesman, Tim Biba, said in a Dec. 28 email.

“There will be plenty of time for politics and elections in 2018, and he’ll have an announcement about his re-election campaign at an appropriate time.”


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

State Rep. Steve Tharinger

State Rep. Steve Tharinger

U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer

U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer

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