Third opponent files against Kilmer for Congressional seat

Chris Welton making first campaign as a candidate for elective office

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer drew a third opponent Wednesday when a Bremerton Republican filed to run for the 6th Congressional District, which includes Clallam and Jefferson counties.

Chris Welton, 41, is a records technician at Kitsap Mental Health Services. He is making his first foray as a candidate for elective office.

The 16-year Bremerton resident is running “to flip the 6th,” he said in an interview.

Tacoma Democrat Rebecca Parson and Gig Harbor Republican Elizabeth Kreiselmaier also have filed to run against the four-term Port Angeles native, a Gig Harbor resident.

“I’m not running against another Republican, I’m running against the Democrats,” Welton said.

He said he opposes abortion, favors small government and believes in the U.S. Constitution.

“I believe in giving people back their money,” Welton said.

“I believe in myself, and I believe in the Republican Party.”

By Wednesday afternoon, there were enough candidates for two top-two primary election contests on the North Olympic Peninsula, one in each county.

Rick Paschall of Sequim on Wednesday became the fourth candidate to file for the Clallam County Public Utility District commissioner District 2 seat being vacated by David Anderson.

He joins Marty Michaelis of Sequim, Neil Knutson of Carlsborg and Patti Morris of Port Angeles.

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, putting the three women on the Aug. 3 primary election ballot. Incumbent Democrat David Sullivan is not running for re-election.

District 2 Clallam County Commissioner Randy Johnson, who listed no party preference, and Jefferson County District 1 Commissioner Kate Dean, a Port Townsend Democrat, also filed for re-election and had yet to draw an opponent.

The 24th Legislative District’s three incumbents all have challengers. The district includes Clallam and Jefferson counties and the northern half of Grays Harbor County.

Position 1 state Rep. Mike Chapman of Port Angeles has drawn Republican challengers Sue Forde of Sequim and Daniel Charles Svoboda of Port Hadlock.

State Rep. Steve Tharinger of Port Townsend is running against Republican Brian Pruiett of Carlsborg for the Position 2 seat.

And state Sen. Kevin Van De Wege of Sequim is running against Republican Connie Beauvais of Joyce.

Incumbent Clallam County Superior Court Judges Lauren Erickson and Brent Basden are running for re-election, while Simon Barnhart, a superior court judicial appointee who will take office June 1, has filed to run for the position Nov. 3.

Incumbent Jefferson County Superior Court Position 1 Judge Keith Harper has filed for re-election, as has incumbent Jefferson County Public Utility District Commissioner Kenneth Collins.

The filing period closes Friday.

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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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