Rohrer, Melly leading in initial count for Clallam County judgeship
By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News
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PORT ANGELES — Erik Rohrer and Chris Melly appeared to be on their way to vying in November for the Clallam County Superior Court Position 1 seat being vacated by the retiring Ken Williams after the initial count of primary election votes tonight.
Rohrer, 54, the Forks District Court 2 judge, received 3,674 votes, or 36.57 percent.
Melly, 60, won 2,397 votes, or 23.86 percent. Melly of Port Angeles and is the Clallam County hearing examiner.
Port Angeles lawyer Curtis Johnson, 59, received 2,017 votes, or 20.08 percent.
Sequim lawyer William Payne, 55, garnered 1,958 votes, or 19.49 percent.
Elections office personnel counted 12,070 ballots tonight — all that had been received as of Monday, Clallam County Auditor Patty Rosand said.
There were 3,513 ballots received today that will be counted by 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, and Rosand estimates a total of 6,000 ballots left to count.
“I'm very proud to have received such strong support from the voters,” Rohrer said.
If Rohrer and Melly hold their leads, both will advance to the Nov. 6 general election, since the top-two primary will cull out two of the four-person field of candidates running for the position.
“The full results aren't in, but I'm glad I'm way out in front, and I think I will remain there,” Rohrer said.
“I'm looking forward to keeping the campaign going for the fall.”
Melly said he was pleased with the results.
“The goal was just to make the cut and make the primary and move on,” he said.
“I've got no hard feelings about that at all. I'm delighted to be in this position.”
Johnson said there may be 6,000 more total ballots to count, “a substantial number.”
“Generally, it seems to me like percentages remain the same,” he added.
“We'll see what happens. Any of those guys could do a good job. I will just continue the practice of law.”
He said if he does lose, he would throw his support behind Melly.
The Auditor's Office has received 15,586 ballots out of the 45,879 issued to voters, or 33.97 percent.
“I expect we will receive at least another 10 percent in the next few days,” Rosand said.
The four-year position pays $148,832 a year, half of which is paid with state funds.
A Superior Court candidate who had won a simple majority of the votes would have automatically won the position.
Melly and Rohrer tied for the top average score of 4.16 in a recent Clallam County Bar Association lawyers'-preference survey of the candidates.
Johnson scored 3.47 and Payne 3.21.
Forty-seven of 76 lawyers who were mailed the survey responded.
Primary election ballots had to be received by the county elections office by 8 p.m. tonight or be postmarked by today.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last modified: August 08. 2012 9:29AM