More candidates join local races

Third declares for state Senate seat

More candidates threw their hats into the ring for elected office this week and more are expected before candidate filing week ends at 5 p.m. today.

State Sen. Emily Randall, D-Bremerton, and Port Angeles lawyer J. Graham Ralston, an independent, joined the race on Wednesday for Washington’s 6th Congressional District seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, who announced last year he would not seek re-election. Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, D-Grays Harbor, and state Sen. Drew MacEwen, R-Union, registered earlier this week.

In state legislative races, Democratic candidate James Russell of Port Angeles registered for the 24th District’s Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Lake Sutherland, who’s running for state Commissioner of Public Lands.

The 24th Legislative District covers all of Clallam and Jefferson counties and most of Grays Harbor County.

Russell is the third candidate to join the state Senate race, meaning candidates will appear on the Aug. 6 primary ballot. State Rep. Mike Chapman, D-Port Angeles, and Marcia Kelbon, R-Quilcene, registered as candidates earlier this week.

Sequim Democrat Eric Pickens joined the race for Chapman’s Position 1 seat in the state House of Representatives, joining fellow Democrats Adam Bernbaum and Nate Tyler and Republican Matt Roberson, who had previously registered.

Position 2 incumbent Steve Tharinger, D-Port Townsend, picked up a challenger in Forks Republican Hickory Grant.

Washington has open primaries, but only the top two vote-getters will move on to the general election Nov. 5.

Also joining local races was Kenneth Reandeau, who registered as a candidate for the Clallam County Public Utility District No. 1 District 3 Commissioner, a nonpartisan position. Phyllis Bernard, recently appointed to the PUD’s District 3 seat, registered earlier this week.

Bernard also is an at-large member of the Olympic Medical Center Public Hospital District board.

Several high-profile races are scheduled to be on the ballot this fall, and many will see candidates vying for an open seat.

Gov. Jay Inslee also is leaving office, and as of Wednesday afternoon, 17 candidates had filed to run for the position.

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