Port Angeles mayor to run for county commission

Dexter has supported climate action plan, affordable housing

Kate Dexter

Kate Dexter

PORT ANGELES — Kate Dexter, a two-term Port Angeles City Council member who has served the last four years as mayor, plans to run for Clallam County commissioner.

Dexter is eyeing the District 2 position currently held by Randy Johnson, who announced a re-election bid last month as an Independent.

Candidate filing week is May 6-10. The primary election is Aug. 6 and the general election is Nov. 5.

“As mayor, I have been a proponent of increasing childcare, developing meaningful solutions to the housing crisis, supporting first responders, including the Coast Guard, and working to support local agencies responding to the opioid crisis,” Dexter said in a press release. “These are issues that I will remain dedicated to as I move toward the County Commission as they affect everyone in Clallam County.”

In her council role, Dexter worked in partnership with city council and the county commissioners on the Joint Public Safety Facility.

She also has voted to accept grant funding for the ReDiscovery Program through the Port Angeles Police Department, the Olympic Peninsula Community Clinic and the Community Paramedicine Program with the Port Angeles Fire Department, both of which have been recognized as models for upstream and cost-saving approaches to public safety around the state, she said.

Dexter has served on boards and committees that include Clallam County Law & Justice, Feiro Marine Life Center, the Utility Advisory Committee, Clallam Transit, Lauridsen Trust and the Clallam County Disability Board. She has also represented the council on issues such as the municipal judicial services contract with Clallam County.

Dexter voted in support of the climate action plan, reestablishing code enforcement and adding a downtown resource officer. She led the effort to update city codes and worked with the council, staff and consultants to develop policies to encourage more housing, including the building code fee waiver for affordable housing.

Dexter also was part of the creation of the county’s Housing Solutions Committee and supported the use of the city’s affordable housing tax funds for Peninsula Behavioral Health’s Dawn View Court.

“Most importantly, over the last six years, I have remained dedicated to listening to constituents and providing a calm, level-headed approach during difficult community issues,” she said. “While each community member may bring diverse perspectives and concerns to the table, many of our most pressing issues affect us all — like rising costs of living, challenges finding homes, and ensuring that our children have equitable access to opportunities. Ultimately, Clallam County is stronger when we reach across the divide and work together.”

Dexter was born in Washington state and received her graduate degree in public administration from the University of Washington. She works full time as the clinical, outreach and accreditation coordinator for the nursing program at Peninsula College. She also serves as a parent volunteer for her son’s Olympic Junior Babe Ruth baseball team. Prior to being elected to the city council, Dexter served on the Franklin Elementary PTO as treasurer and president.

“I have helped strengthen partnerships with local tribal governments, worked with partners at the county, and have supported community connections as a member of nonprofit and public boards,” Dexter said. “I will bring my ability to create cohesion to the county commission as I believe that Clallam County deserves leadership that is actively working towards building collaborative partnerships and using creative ideas to make our county work for everyone.”