PORT ANGELES — Primary election candidate Jon Bruce is ending his run for Port Angeles City Council, although he is far too late to have his name removed from an Aug. 3 ballot that will be mailed Wednesday to voters.
Bruce, a Peninsula College nursing student who was vying for the Position 4 seat held by a PC Nursing Program Specialist Kate Dexter, the council-appointed mayor, said Thursday he is throwing his support behind John Procter, her other opponent.
“I had things going on a little bit more than I expected,” Bruce, 38, said. “I decided I would drop my candidacy.”
His departure from the race makes it a foregone conclusion Dexter and Procter will meet in the Nov. 2 general election.
“I’m definitely going for Procter, going to support Procter, just for various reasons,” Bruce said, “just for a change.”
Bruce said he did not realize what he was getting into financially and time-wise when he filed for the position May 18, a day after Dexter filed for re-election.
He left Port Angeles for three weeks on a pre-planned trip, returning to 30 voicemails.
“I did not realize there was so much preparation before the big primary election,” he said.
“I was not very prepared for that.”
Bruce said he has not attended a Port Angeles City Council meeting but was inspired to run after talking to residents.
“I just heard some things down the grapevine that [the council] wasn’t so great,” Bruce said.
“I would like to have a say and to help people was my main goal, to help the community.”
The former journeyman lineman, who grew up in Spokane and graduated from Mt. Spokane High School, said he moved to Port Angeles a little over a year ago and has a business degree from the University of Idaho.
Procter said Thursday he would not recognize Bruce if he saw him on the street and that Bruce has not attended any primary election voter forums.
“I appreciate his support,” Procter said.
“Other than that, I have no comment to make. I wasn’t worried. He wasn’t really a challenging candidate to start with.”
Procter, who has never run for public office, said he was still glad Bruce filed for the position.
“Being in the primary has given me excellent conditioning, so to speak, and certainly has organized my thought processes a lot more to specific issues that I haven’t thought of before,” Procter said.
Dexter said Bruce’s candidacy gave her and Procter a chance to engage with the public earlier than if Bruce had not been a candidate.
“I appreciate anyone who’s wiling to step up and run,” Dexter said.
“I don’t know what his reasons are and don’t really need to know. I can appreciate that things change and he decided this wasn’t the right time for him to run.”
The deadline for candidates to withdraw their names was the Monday after the May 17-21 filing week.
Clallam County elections assistant Susan Johnson said Thursday that ballots have been printed for weeks.
Voters who support Bruce and don’t know of his decision may vote for him anyway, she said.
“It is hard because people don’t always read, and he might have supporters that really want him,” Johnson said Thursday.
A voters guide for primary races in six districts has been produced by the Clallam County Auditor’s Office and is available by clicking on “Clallam County’s 2021 Primary Local Voter’s Pamphlet” at clallam.net/Auditor/Elections.html.
A printed version will be mailed today to voters in Port Angeles, Forks, Clallam County Hospital District 2 (Olympic Medical Center), Port Angeles School District, Sequim School District and county Fire District 3.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].