Thomas, Wennstrom leading in races for Port Townsend City Council

Candidates have large margins in early voting returns

PORT TOWNSEND — Ben Thomas and Libby Urner Wennstorm appear headed to serve on the Port Townsend City Council after the initial count of votes Tuesday night.

As of Tuesday, the voter turnout was 30.12 percent after 8,311 of the 27,596 ballots provided to registered voters had been received, according to the Jefferson County Elections Office. The next ballot count will be at 4 p.m. today.

In neighboring Clallam County, the voter turnout was 36.96 percent, after 21,131 of the 57,166 ballots provided to registers voters had been received as of Tuesday, according to the Clallam County elections office. The next count will be by 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Thomas, a winemaker, has a large lead over Cameron Jones, a U.S. Army veteran and an organizer for the Jefferson County Chapter of the Black Lives Matter movement. They are competing for the Position 1 seat on the Port Townsend City Council that is being vacated by Mayor Michelle Sandoval, who has served five terms.

Wennstrom, a self-employed technical writer and the vice chair of the Jefferson County Democrats, is leading Tyler Myles Vega, an IT professional and a co-chair of the Washington Progressive Party, for the Position 5 seat on the Port Townsend City Council that is being vacated by two-term incumbent Pamela Adams.

Paul Mahan, owner of Mahan Log & Lumber, was ahead of Ronald Leon Jones, a U.S. Navy veteran who works as a business analyst for a government contractor, in the contest for the at-large, Position 5 seat on the Quilcene School Board.

Glenn T. Clemens, a retired ship captain who worked 40 years in the maritime industry, was leading incumbent Ron Helmonds for the Position 3 seat on the Port Ludlow Fire District commission.

A small number of Jefferson County residents voted in the Sequim School Board race for Position 4 and the Clallam County Fire District commission Position 1 contest.

On the Sequim School Board, Kristi Schmeck, who won’t be able to serve because she withdrew prior to the primary election, was leading Virginia R. Sheppard, a small business owner.

On the Fire District 3 commission, Jeff Nicholas, a retired U.S. Navy submarine captain, was ahead of Duane Chamlee, a U.S. Army veteran and retired California deputy fire chief.

More information on the Jefferson County elections can be found at

Candidate responses to the Nov. 2 election results will be in Thursday’s Peninsula Daily News.