Kilmer, Driscoll will face off for Congress in November
By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
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That puts the state senator from Gig Harbor in an apparent runoff with Republican Bill Driscoll, who came in second place in the seven-candidate race.
The Associated Press declared both Kilmer and Driscoll the nominees to proceed to the Nov. 6 general election to succeed veteran Congressman Norm Dicks, who is not seeking re-election to the seat he has held since 1977.
Across the 6th District, Kilmer received more than 54 percent of the votes, compared with Driscoll's 18 percent, brought down by the presence of four other Republicans in the race.
The latest vote tallies for the 6th District race are at http://tinyurl.com/pdn-congress.
In Clallam County, Kilmer, a 39-year-old Port Angeles High School alumnus who went on to Princeton and the University of Oxford in England, had 5,684 votes, or 49.07 percent; in Jefferson County he took 5,479 votes, or 61.69 percent of the seven-candidate race.
Driscoll, a 49-year-old Tacoma businessman with a long career in forest products and family ties to Weyerhaeuser, was a distant second with 1,890 votes, or 16.32 percent in Clallam County and 1,238 votes, or 13.94 percent, in Jefferson County.
Republican Doug Cloud, an attorney in Gig Harbor, followed with 1,755 votes, or 15.15 percent in Clallam, and 600 votes for 6.76 percent in Jefferson.
Stephan A. Brodhead, David Eichner and Jesse Young, all Republicans, were further behind, as was independent Eric G. Arentz Jr.
The 6th Congressional District covers all or parts of Clallam, Jefferson, Grays Harbor, Mason, Pierce and Kitsap counties, including a chunk of the city of Tacoma.
For 3½ decades, the 6th Congressional District has had one congressman, Belfair Democrat Dicks, now 71. Dicks, who took office Jan. 3, 1977, announced in March that he would retire, and then endorsed Kilmer, the race's lone Democrat.
“I feel good,” Kilmer said after the primary results began coming in Tuesday night.
Kilmer, who graduated from Port Angeles High in 1992, is vice president of the Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Economic Development who is serving his second term in the state Senate.
“I do what I do because I grew up in PA,” he said. “I saw a lot of my friends' parents losing job. I saw our neighbors struggle. It's why I work every day, to get people back to work.”
Kilmer, who lives in Gig Harbor, said he also aims to “get Congress back to work.”
Driscoll, meantime, has emphasized his belief in Western Washington's timber industry, and the jobs provided by the 6th District's paper mills in Port Townsend, Port Angeles and Cosmopolis.
He has said that manufacturing jobs is where to expand, and asserts that they will pay better than “ecotourism” jobs.
“I believe that forest jobs are the original green jobs,” Driscoll has told the Peninsula Daily News.
Driscoll, who is also a military veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.
Since this is a “top two” primary election, the two candidates with the greatest number of votes regardless of political parties will advance to the Nov. 6 general election.
That race's winner will go to Washington, D.C., to earn an annual salary of $174,000.
There are more vote counts to be done, however, in this all-mail primary election.
Of the 45,850 ballots sent out to registered voters in Clallam County, the county elections office had received 12,072 ballots as of Monday and tallied them by Tuesday.
Also Tuesday, the office then took in 3,513 additional ballots; those will be counted by 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Clallam Auditor Patty Rosand said the total received was 15,586 for all county races, for a voter turnout of 33.97 percent.
In Jefferson County, 21,889 ballots were mailed and 9,580 returned by Tuesday, which is a 43.77 percent turnout. Jefferson Auditor Donna Eldridge said her office had about 1,200 ballots still uncounted; she expected another 200 to come in, for a 54 percent turnout.
The next ballot count in Jefferson is scheduled for noon Friday.
Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last modified: August 07. 2012 10:45PM