Voter forum set tonight in Port Angeles

The League of Women Voters of Clallam County has other forums planned next month.

PORT ANGELES — State representative hopefuls and a state initiative will be featured at a League of Women Voters of Clallam County forum tonight.

The free forum will be from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Raymond Carver Room of the Port Angeles Library, 2210 S. Peabody St.

Speakers will present pro and con arguments for state Initiative 1491: Extreme Risk Protection Orders, which is on the Nov. 8 general election ballot.

Such orders would allow families and law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily suspend a person’s access to firearms if evidence documents that the person is threatening harm to him- or herself or others. The person subject to that order would have to surrender guns to police and would not be able to buy, sell or possess other firearms for up to one year.

Incumbent Steve Tharinger, a Sequim Democrat, and John Alger, a Sequim Republican, will speak.

The two are running Nov. 8 for state representative Position 2 in the 24th Legislative District, which covers Clallam and Jefferson counties and part of Grays Harbor County.

Audience members are encouraged to bring their questions for the candidates and speakers representing the “for” and “against” positions for the state initiative.

Ballots for the general election will be mailed Oct. 19 and must be postmarked no later than Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Another forum is planned this Tuesday. It will be from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the county commissioners’ meeting room (Room 160) at the Clallam County Courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St., Port Angeles.

The forum will feature candidates for District 2 county commissioner and for Superior Court judge.

Commissioner candidates are Randy Johnson of Port Angeles, who filed with no party preference, and Ron Richards, a Port Angeles Democrat.

Candidates for Superior Court judge Position 2 are Brian Coughenour, who was appointed to the post in 2015, and Dave Neupert, a district court pro tem who retired from Platt Irwin Law Firm in December, both of Port Angeles.

A third forum is slated from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12. This forum, which will be in the commissioners’ meeting room at the courthouse, will feature candidates for the 24th Legislative District state Senate seat and candidates for the 6th Congressional District seat. The 6th District includes the North Olympic Peninsula.

Rep. Kevin Van de Wege, a Sequim Democrat, and Danille Turissini of Port Ludlow, who filed as an “independent GOP” candidate, are seeking the Senate seat.

U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, a Gig Harbor Democrat, is challenged by Todd A. Bloom, a Tacoma Republican.

At each of these three forums, candidates for other offices who may be present in the audience will be asked to stand and introduce themselves.

Time will be allowed at the conclusion of each forum for one-on-one questions with the candidates and initiative representatives.

Members of the Clallam County League of Women Voters will video-record each forum, and links to the recordings will be available a few days after each event on the league’s website at

At the league’s fourth and final event, members of the public can drop in between 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17, in the Carver Room of the Port Angeles Library to get “for” and “against” information about the six initiatives on the November ballot.

The initiatives are: I-732 Carbon Emission Tax, I-735 Propose Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, I-1433 Concerns Labor Standards (Minimum Wage), I-1464 Concerns Elections and Lobbying Accountability of Washington, I-1501 Vulnerable Criminal Protection and I-1491 Extreme Risk Protection Orders.

For most initiatives, the league members expect people representing both the “for” and “against” arguments to be present to visit with attendees on a one-to-one basis.

For all initiatives, printed literature representing both sides will be available.

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