By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News
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That’s when voting-age citizens who want to run for office in the Nov. 5 general election must make their intentions official.
Candidates must file their declarations of candidacy the week of May 13-17 to run for any of the 48 seats on the 25 elected councils, boards and commissions on which the elected positions are up for grabs.
These potential public officials will compete for voters’ approval to pass budgets, set policies and represent voters — and taxpayers — in political entities in Jefferson County ranging from the Port of Port Townsend to Brinnon Park & Recreation District 2.
The declaration of candidacy can be filed in person at the county elections office in the basement of the county courthouse, 1820 Jefferson St. in Port Townsend, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. filing week.
They also can be filed by printing out a declaration available at a Jefferson County website devoted solely to aspiring candidates at http://tinyurl.com/coqejgx and by mailing a completed declaration to the elections office at P.O. Box 563, Port Townsend, WA 98368.
But take note: Declarations must be received by the elections office by 4:30 p.m. May 17 to be valid.
They cannot simply be postmarked on that date, county Elections Supervisor Karen Cartmel said Friday.
“They have to be in our office at the close of filing on that day,” Cartmel said.
Election officials say that as of Friday afternoon, they had received no inquiries from potential candidates.
Part of the reason might be that all the positions are nonpartisan, Cartmel said.
“Maybe everybody is as pleased as punch, I don’t know,” she added.
“It’s hard to get these positions filled sometimes.”
If three or more candidates file for a position, they will advance to the Aug. 6 primary, with the winners advancing to the Nov. 5 general election.
If three or more candidates file for either of the Port of Port Townsend commission seats held by incumbents Dave Thompson or Paul McHugh, the primary will be confined to the commissioner-district boundaries.
Thompson cannot run for re-election because he does not live within the district’s boundaries.
Candidates must be registered voters in the district in which they are running for office.
City Council candidates have an extra residency requirement: They must have been residents for at least a year as of Nov. 5 in the cities they wish to represent.
Within two weeks of becoming a candidate, potential public officeholders also must file separate financial affairs and candidate registration forms with the state Public Disclosure Commission.
Candidates also must pay filing fees that equal 1 percent of the salary they would be paid if elected, not including the per-diem payments, but pay nothing in filing fees if they do not receive a salary.
That means that in Jefferson County, only candidates for the Port of Port Angeles commission and Port Townsend City Council must pay filing fees. There are no filing fees for any other positions.
Those fees can be paid only in cash or by check. Credit cards are not accepted.
If a person cannot afford to pay a filing fee, the potential candidate must complete a filing-fee petition, available at http://tinyurl.com/bnvts7e.
The petition must contain at least one signature per dollar of the filing fee, and those signing it must be registered voters in the jurisdiction in which the candidate is running.
Here is a list of positions up for election that includes the position, the number of years in each term and the incumbent.
■ Port of Port Townsend: Commissioner, District 2 — Dave Thompson, who cannot run for re-election due to redistricting; Commissioner, District 3 — Leif W. Erickson; both are four-year terms; filing fee is $24.
■ City of Port Townsend: Council Position 1 — Michele Sandoval; Council Position 2 — Catharine Robinson; Council Position 5 — Mark Welch; all are four-year terms; filing $60.
■ Queets/Clearwater School District 20: Director, District 1 — Lyle Pfeifle; Director, District 2 — Selene Charles; Director, District 5 — Suzanne Kalama; all are four-year terms.
■ Brinnon School District 46: Director, District 1 — Valerie Schindler, four-year term; Director, District 3 — Joseph Baisch, two-year unexpired term; Director, District 5 — Wendy Ryan-Hogan, four-year term.
■ Quilcene School District 48: Director, District 2 — Gary Rae; Director-at-large, Position 5 — Bonnie Hitt; both are four-year terms.
■ Chimacum School District 49: Director, District 1 — Ted Friedrich; Director, District 2 — Cammy Brown; Director, District 5 — Kevin M. Miller; all are four-year terms.
■ Port Townsend School District 50: Director, District 1 — Holley Carlson; Director, District 2 — Jennifer James-Wilson; both are four-year terms.
■ Sequim School District 323: Director, District 2 — Virginia O’Dell; Director-at-large, Position 4 — Beverly Horan; both are four-year terms.
■ Quillayute Valley School District 402: Director, District 2 — Rick Gale; Director, District 4 — Brian Pederson; both are four-year terms.
■ Chimacum/Cape George Fire District 1: Commissioner 1 — Zane Wyll, six-year term; Commissioner 3 — Edward Edwards, four-year unexpired term.
■ Quilcene Fire District 2: Commissioner 1 — Debbie Randall, six-year term; Commissioner 2 — R. Gary Phillips, two-year unexpired term.
■ Clallam-Jefferson Fire Protection District: Commissioner 3 — James Barnfather, six-year term.
■ Port Ludlow Fire District 3: Commissioner 2 — Ed Davis; Commissioner 4 — Eugene Q. Carmody Jr.; both six-year terms.
■ Brinnon Fire District 4: Commissioner 3 — Meril Smith, six-year term.
■ Discovery Bay Fire District 5: Commissioner 3 — Barbara Knoepfle; six-year term.
■ Queets Fire District 7: Commissioner 1 — Raymond E. Rorberg, six-year term; Commissioner 2 — Vacant, four-year unexpired term; Commissioner 3 — Cliff Hay, two-year unexpired term.
■ Paradise Bay Water District 1: Commissioner 3 — Raelene Rossart, six-year term.
■ Brinnon Water District 2: Commissioner 1 — Fred R. Stern; six-year term.
■ Brinnon Cemetery District 1: Commissioner 1 — Karl Springer, four-year unexpired term; Commissioner 2 — Roxianne Morris, six-year term.
■ Quilcene Cemetery District 2: Commissioner 3 — Don Ward, six-year term.
■ Gardiner Cemetery District 3: Commissioner 1 — Jim Hueter, six-year term.
■ East Jefferson County Hospital District 2: Commissioner 3 — Marc Mauney; Commissioner 5 — Jill Buhler; both are six-year terms.
■ West Jefferson County Hospital District 1: Commissioner, Position 2 — Nikki F. Hay; six-year term.
■ Coyle-Thorndyke Park and Recreation District 1: Commissioner, Position 2 — Dennis Schmitt, four-year term; Commissioner, Position 3 — Larry Robinson, four-year term; Commissioner, Position 4 — Cathleen Bohman, two-year unexpired term.
■ Brinnon Park and Recreation District 2: Commissioner, Position 1 — Bud Schindler; Commissioner, Position 5 — Doug Hixson; both are four-year terms.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.