Clinefelter, Hanke Leading for Commissioner

By Diane Urbani de la Paz, November 5, 2013, Peninsula Daily News

Brad Clinefelter took the lead Tuesday night over Peter Quinn in the race for the Port of Port Townsend’s District 2 commissioner seat, while challenger Pete Hanke was well ahead of incumbent Leif Erickson for the port’s District 3 position.

Clinefelter, 53, of Nordland had 4,444 votes, or 56.89 percent, over Quinn’s 3,367 votes, or 43.11 percent.

Clinefelter, a retired maritime heavy-industry worker and the owner of Mystery Bay Charters & Services, could not be reached Tuesday night for comment.

Quinn, the volunteer CEO of Quimper Mercantile in Port Townsend and the executive director of EDC Team Jefferson, said he’s proud of the race he ran.

“I did my best,” said Quinn, 59. “And I will continue to work for the port and betterment of the county for the rest of my life.”

Hanke, a Chimacum resident who owns Puget Sound Express Inc. of Port Townsend, took 4,741 votes, or 58.68 percent, to Erickson’s 3,339 votes, or 41.32 percent, for the District 3 seat.

“Our family has been here a long time,” said Hanke, 55. “We’ve got a lot of history with the port.”

He said he hopes to make its operations more transparent.

Erickson, the incumbent seeking a second term, is a 62-year-old marine consultant who lives in Port Ludlow. He didn’t return a call for comment Tuesday night.

The issues in the port races centered around the port’s role in Jefferson County’s economic progress, including the development of the Boat Haven, Jefferson County International Airport and the new port administration building.

Erickson said the building soon will pay for itself, but the other candidates questioned the wisdom of constructing the building in its current location.

Port of Port Townsend commissioners serve four-year terms and pass the port budget, which in 2013 was $5.6 million for operating expenses and $2.4 million for capital costs.

They are eligible for $114 per day of service for up to 96 days or $10,944, plus a salary of $254 monthly up to $13,992 per year. They also are eligible for medical, dental, vision, long-term disability and life insurance benefits.

The Jefferson County Auditor’s Office counted 11,139, or 48.9 percent, of the 22,270 ballots mailed to registered voters, with about 327 that need further review.

Betty Johnson, voter registration coordinator, estimated that about 2,000 more ballots will come in this week before the next count at about noon Friday.

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