Primary races top ballot in August

Congress, state Senate seat will be contested

PORT ANGELES — State and local races are packed with candidates heading into the Aug. 6 primary election as candidate filing week came to a close Friday.

Washington has open primaries, but only the top two vote-getters move on to the general election Nov. 5. Races with two or fewer candidates will not appear on the August ballot.

Races with primaries

Washington’s 6th Congressional District

When U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, announced last year he wasn’t seeking re-election, several candidates quickly announced they would seek the Congressional seat, which represents all of the Olympic Peninsula and part of Tacoma.

Five candidates had registered by Friday’s deadline: state Sen. Drew MacEwen, R-Union; Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, D-Grays Harbor; state Sen. Emily Randall, D-Bremerton; Port Angeles lawyer J. Graham Ralston, an independent; and Federal Way nonprofit founder Janis Clark, a Republican.

24th Legislative District

With Franz leaving her position as Commissioner of Public Lands, state Sen. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Lake Sutherland, announced his intention to run for her seat, leaving the 24th Legislative District’s Senate seat open. Shortly after Van De Wege’s announcement, Mike Chapman, D-Port Angeles, who holds the state Representative, Position 1 seat, announced he would run for Senate.

Chapman will be joined by Marcia Kelbon, R-Quilcene, a lawyer and engineer, and James Russell, D-Port Angeles.

Chapman’s open seat also quickly drew several prospective candidates including Adam Bernbaum, a Democrat who served as Van de Wege’s legislative assistant; Makah Tribal Council member Nate Tyler, a Democrat; Clallam County Deputy Prosecutor Matt Roberson, a Republican; and Sequim School Board President Eric Pickens, a Democrat.

The 24th’s Position 2 seat will also go to a primary this year with two Republicans trying to oust Democratic incumbent Rep. Steve Tharinger, D-Port Townsend, who’s held the seat since 2011.

Running for the Position 2 seat are Hickory Grant, R-Forks, and Terry Roberts, R-Quilcene.

Clallam County Public Utility District No. 1, District 3

Two of the three seats on the Clallam County PUD’s board were vacated early last year, and both positions are on the ballot, each with the interim board member running as a candidate.

District 2 interim Commissioner Jim Purvis is running unopposed, but there are three candidates running for the District 3 seat.

Candidates for the nonpartisan Clallam County PUD District 3 are interim District 3 Commissioner Phyllis Bernard, Kenneth Reandeau of Port Angeles and Ken Simpson of Port Angeles.

Races without a primary

Clallam County Commissioner, District 2

Port Angeles Mayor Kate Dexter, a Democrat, announced her candidacy for the District 2 Clallam County Commissioner seat last month. The seat has been held by Randy Johnson, an independent, since 2016. Johnson announced his bid for re-election in March.

Jefferson County Commissioner, District 1

Current District 1 Commissioner Kate Dean, a Democrat, announced in March she won’t seek re-election, and two candidates have stepped forward to represent the district that covers Port Townsend and part of the upper Quimper Peninsula.

Running for the District 1 seat are Heather Dudley-Nollette, Bayside Housing and Services executive director, and Port Townsend City Council member Ben Thomas.

District 2 Commissioner Heidi Eisenhour is running unopposed as is Jefferson County Public Utility District No. 1 District 3 Commissioner Daniel Toepper.

Statewide races

Several statewide positions will be on the ballot this fall, and some of the more high-profile races have more than 10 candidates heading into the August primary.

There are 10 candidates vying for Washington’s U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Seattle, including a mix of Democrats, Republicans, independents and one Socialist Workers Party candidate.

Twenty-four candidates have registered for the governor’s race with listed party affiliations including Democrats, Republicans, Trump Republicans, Libertarians, Standup-American, Nonsense Busters and independents.

Also on the ballot this fall are races for lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, commissioner of public lands, treasurer, auditor, superintendent of public instruction, insurance commissioner and three Supreme Court positions.

A list of candidates who have filed can be found at the Secretary of State’s website,

Voter registration and additional voter information can be found at


Reporter Peter Segall can be reached by email at

More in News

Helen and Greg Starr, executors of James Minsky’s estate, cut the ribbon for LtCol James Minsky Place on May 17 with Cheri Tinker, executive director of Sarge’s Veteran Support, right, and Sarge’s board president Lorri Gilchrist, and city council members Harmony Rutter and Rachel Anderson. The facility will permanently house six disabled and/or elderly veterans in Sequim. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Minsky Place opens to support elderly, disabled veterans

Sarge’s Veteran Support seeks five veterans for permanent housing

Public comment opens on Dabob Bay

State, county look to move lands into conservation

Clallam renews pact with investigative unit

Agencies are currently investigating shooting outside PA bank

Motrocyclist airlifted to Harborview after wreck

A San Antonio man was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center… Continue reading

WomenSpirit Coalition staff members include, from left, Michelle Williams, Dee Koester, Diane Good (in back), Cheryl Neskahi Coan, Erin Lopez Neskahi and Laura Fierro. (Elijah Sussman/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
WomenSpirit Coalition steps into new phase

Multi-service indigenous support organization to host open house

Members of the Mount Olympus Detachment 897 of the Marine Corps League give a 21-gun salute at a Memorial Day ceremony at Mt. Angeles Memorial Park in Port Angeles on Monday. The ceremony was hosted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6787 of Carlsborg and was one of many Memorial Day events held in Clallam and Jefferson counties. (Peter Segall/Peninsula News)
Solemn ceremonies honor America's war dead

Flowers, wreaths decorate gravesites across Peninsula

Peninsula College, teachers agree on contract

Three-year deal to raise faculty salaries

Clallam County pledges $1.5 million toward preserving two farms

Commitment would provide conservation easement on properties

Cub Scout Pack 4479 laid about 200 flags on graves of veterans at the Catholic Cemetery and the front portion of Laurel Grove Cemetery in Port Townsend to honor veterans who have died. Jim Little from Troop 1479 instructed the Cub Scouts prior to dispersing them to post the colors at graves that were either marked with a star by the VFW or an inscription that indicates past military service. (Lolo Sherwood)
Honoring veterans

Cub Scout Pack 4479 laid about 200 flags on graves of veterans… Continue reading

Piping plan could be reinstated

Votes reaffirm Sequim board members

Sequim police propose updated noise control ordinance

Public hearing set June 10 at civic center

Members of the Captain Joseph House Foundation gather in October to celebrate the gifting of a Gold Star Monument marker in front of the Captain Joseph House in Port Angeles. (Courtesy photo)
Captain Joseph House to host Memorial Day ceremony

Respite home provides space for Gold Star Families