Port Angeles outgoing council list holds
PORT ANGELES – Voters supporting the four incumbents of Port Angeles City Council for re-election in Tuesday’s general election rejected candidates who challenged the first terms over their handling of the city’s homeless population and other social issues .
After the ballots were counted Tuesday and Wednesday, council-appointed mayor Kate Dexter beat John Procter, Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin edged out Jena Stamper, Mike French beat John Madden and LaTrisha Suggs beat Adam Garcia.
The Clallam County-wide turnout was 46.5% on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m., with 26,584 votes counted from 57,166 registered voters.
There are more than 13,000 registered voters in Port Angeles eligible to vote in the city council race, with between 6,156 and 6,198 ballots counted in the four races by late Wednesday afternoon.
The estimated number of votes remaining to count across the county in all races on Wednesday afternoon was 650.
The next count will take place today.
Suggs topped Garcia, 51.1% to 48.6% (3,160-3,005 votes) in the second count at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Suggs, whose lead increased 15 votes from Tuesday night, was confident earlier Wednesday that his lead would last.
A planner for the restoration of the natural resources of the Jamestown S’Klallam tribe and the first Native American on city council, she said she was relieved to see the first results.
“It’s a little difficult to keep your head in your job yesterday where it’s kind of all you think about, you wonder,” she said.
“I’m not going to cash in,” Garcia said late Wednesday afternoon after the second count.
“I don’t question anything and I understand how the statistics work,” he said.
“I’m going to let things unfold, and what the votes are, the votes are.”
Garcia said Suggs made the race partisan by accepting a $ 200 contribution from the Clallam County Democratic Central Committee.
Garcia said he remained non-partisan in rejecting help from the Independent Advisory Association, a self-proclaimed populist group Sequim that supported Madden and Stamper.
Suggs said Tuesday that she had not requested the party donation and needed the funding to pay for her campaign expenses, including a joint mailing with incumbent 3 Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin.
“When I sit on city council, it’s about what’s best for our community,” she said.
Garcia said he distanced himself from other challengers early on by emphasizing the need for social services as a weapon against homelessness.
The French seemed to have an insurmountable lead with 58.8% against 40.1% for Madden (3,622 against 2,519 votes), a lead that reflected a similar margin earlier on Wednesday.
“I think the margin is probably pretty safe at this point,” French said Wednesday morning.
“I’ve just been trying to focus on issues that are relevant to people for the past four years and I’m focusing on, for example, the planning effort going on downtown right now,” said French, owner of the restaurant. First Street Haven in Port Angeles.
“I hope this has reached voters because I haven’t really spent a lot of campaign spending.”
French said he spent nothing on his campaign, while Madden asked the state’s Public Disclosure Commission to spend less than $ 5,000.
In a text message on Wednesday, Madden thanked his supporters.
“I hope the community stays engaged and works together on our challenges,” Madden said. “Best wishes to Mr. French.
French criticized the city for failing to put in place a public relations effort to publicize the city’s efforts and solutions to homelessness and drug addiction, issues the council challengers have focused on. .
“These problems were huge problems four years ago,” French recalled. “We haven’t fully explained what the solutions are and how it will work.”
Schromen-Wawrin’s vote total was 16 less than that of Suggs, with whom he shared campaign expenses for a flyer.
On Wednesday evening, the lawyer for Port Angeles had 50.7% against 49% for Stamper (3,144 against 3,031 votes).
“I guess I won the election,” Schromen-Wawrin said Wednesday morning.
“I would be very surprised if the results matched [Wednesday] change that I’m ahead of time.
Stamper, co-owner of the Boulevard Natural Wellness Center, could not be reached for comment on Monday or Wednesday to discuss the election.
Schromen-Wawrin said Stamper’s voice would be valuable on the Parks and Recreation Commission as someone who during the campaign was concerned about the fitness and safety of the city’s parks.
It’s important that residents think about “how we come together as a community,” said Schromen-Wawrin.
“I saw a dynamic at the national level that was starting to manifest itself at the local level, where we are becoming more and more polarized,” he said.
The housing issue “is more complex than the other side suggested,” Schromen-Wawrin said.
“They gave the impression that the choice was to take people off the streets and leave people on the streets. They gave the impression that the current city council did not want to solve the problem.
He denounced the level of talk he saw on Facebook during the campaign, which he called the “Hatebook”.
“People were making things up about what the city council did or spends time doing and [spreading] baseless information, ”he said. “We need to find a way to effectively counter this and have conversations about the facts. ”
Dexter, a specialist in the Peninsula College nursing program, got almost the same percentage of the vote in the general election in Wednesday’s second tally as she did in the August 3 primary election, when she got 53.3% in a three-man race.
She had 53.4% Wednesday against 46% for Procter (3,291 against 2,860 votes).
“I did what I planned to do to make my point and talk to quite a few people and I felt good about that part. I didn’t feel like I left anything behind. it’s on the table, so to speak, ”she said earlier Wednesday.
Procter, a retired veterinarian, thanked his supporters on Wednesday morning and said it looked like Dexter had won.
“I will say I wish her well and congratulate her,” Procter said.
He said he may have relied too much on social media, especially Facebook, to publicize his campaign.
Procter said he hurt his campaign by late presenting a plan, employed in Auburn, for a proposed homeless shelter with wrap-around services combined with an ordinance banning camping on public property.
“I might have lost the election, but in reality I won because of the incredible number of people I met along the way,” said Procter. “I don’t see myself as a loser. I consider myself a winner.
Senior Editor Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].