Presidential primary ballots to hit the mail this week

Names of five Democratic candidates who left race still appear

PORT ANGELES — Presidential primary ballots being mailed Wednesday to 54,000 Clallam County voters include five of 13 Democratic candidates who have already dropped out of the race.

Democrats Michael Bennet, Andrew Yang, Cory Booker, John Delaney and Deval Patrick withdrew after the deadline, with Patrick dropping out last week.

Democrats Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer and Elizabeth Warren are still running for president.

“I think we’re probably a Bernie and an Amy Klobuchar, and we also might be a Bloomberg, county,” Clallam County Democratic Party Chair Liz Bumgarner said Monday.

“A lot of people are talking about Bloomberg to me.”

The ballots must be postmarked by March 10 or returned to the county Auditor’s Office or a ballot drop-box by 8 p.m. March 10.

President Donald Trump is the only Republican listed on the ballot.

“Republicans are strongly behind our president, and whoever runs against the president I don’t think has much of a chance because the Democratic Party has gone so far to the left,” Sue Forde, chair of the Clallam County Republican Party, said Monday.

Voters must declare a Republican or Democratic party affiliation for a ballot to be valid.

The information is made available to both parties which, as major political parties under state law, are the only parties listed.

“For this election only, voters who choose to participate are required to declare a party affiliation in order to vote,” county Auditor Shoona Riggs said Monday in a press release.

Bumgarner said the party-choice information is made available to the public for three months and purged.

“It was set up so the parties could have some idea of who is a Democrat and who is a Republican,” she said.

“We try to contact those people to see if they are interested in a particular candidate and if they will work for a candidate.

“It’s a very low-key thing.”

“We don’t go running after people and annoying them.”

Clallam County Democrats are not endorsing any candidates in the primary.

“We’re really glad to have all of them running,” Bumgarner said.

In the nonbinding 2016 state primary, Hillary Clinton topped Sanders statewide and in Clallam County, while Sanders won Jefferson County.

Sanders won the 2016 Democratic Party caucuses in Clallam and Jefferson counties and statewide.

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

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