Primary battles line up in 2020 elections

State Rep. Steve Tharinger of Port Townsend has a primary battle on his hands — and not just from Republicans.

The 24th District Democrat, a five-term incumbent, gained two opponents Friday — Republican Jodi Wilke of Port Townsend and Democrat Darren Corcoran of Elma — that he will face in the top-two Aug. 4 election.

Clallam County Commissioner Randy Johnson, who filed with no party preference, and Democratic Jefferson County Commissioner Kate Dean are shoo-ins for their positions, as no one filed for their positions.

Incumbent Clallam County Superior Court Judge Lauren Erickson gained a general election opponent, Lisa Dublin of Carlsborg.

Friday was the last day for candidates to file for the Nov. 3 general election.

Wilke, who registered with the state Public Disclosure Commission for Tharinger’s position in February 2019 with a Port Hadlock address, told Peninsula Daily News on Aug. 15, “I’m not running for anything.”

She said Friday she was not going to run for office again but said she changed her mind because she was upset over a lack of media coverage of a May 5 lawsuit she said was filed earlier this month by Save Our Sequim, a group that she coordinates that is opposed to the medication-assisted treatment facility project in Sequim.

“I am running because the people of this area need someone to represent them with clarity and passion, with devotion that understands the issues,” she said.

She listed a Carlsborg address in her filing on the Washington Secretary of State site on Friday and said it was because it will be close to her base of operations.

Wilke ran unsuccessfully against 24th District state Rep. Mike Chapman in 2018.

Corcoran could not be reached for comment early Friday evening.

Republican Brian Pruiett of Carlsborg also is vying for Tharinger’s Position 2 seat.

Port Angeles Democratic 24th District state Rep. Mike Chapman faces primary challengers for his Position 1 seat from Republican Sue Forde of Sequim and Daniel Charles Svoboda of Port Hadlock, who describes himself as a Trump Republican on his filing.

Incumbent 24th District Democratic state Sen. Kevin Van De Wege of Sequim will go against Republican Connie Beauvais of Joyce.

The 24th District includes Clallam and Jefferson counties and the northern half of Grays Harbor County.

All partisan candidates appear on the primary ballot whether they have opponents or not, as do races with three or more candidates.

They will include U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer of Gig Harbor, a four-term Democratic incumbent whose 6th District includes Clallam and Jefferson counties.

The field running against Kilmer grew to five Friday, as Tacoma Republican Stephan Brodhead filed for his position.

Fling for the seat earlier last week were Republicans Johny Alberg of Olalla, Elizabeth Kreiselmaier of Gig Harbor and Chris Welton of Bremerton, and Democrat Rebecca Parson of Tacoma.

There also will be one top-two primary election in Clallam County and one in Jefferson County.

Democrats Amanda Rae Funaro and Heidi Eisenhour of Port Hadlock and Lorna Smith of Port Townsend are running for the Position 2 Jefferson County commissioner seat held by Democrat David Sullivan, who is not running for re-election.

In Clallam County, Rick Paschall of Sequim, Marty Michaelis of Sequim, Neil Knutson of Carlsborg and Patti Morris of Port Angeles have filed for the Public Utility District commissioner District 2 seat being vacated by David Anderson.

Clallam County Superior Court Judges Brent Basden and Superior Court judge appointee Simon Barnhart have no one running against them.

Basden is an incumbent, and Barnhart takes office June 2 when Judge Brian Coughenhour retires.

Incumbent Jefferson County Superior Court Judge Keith Harper also faces no opposition on the Nov. 3 ballot along with incumbent Jefferson County Public Utility District Commissioner Kenneth Collins.


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

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