PACIFIC COUNTY — The May filing period for local offices up for election this year has come and gone, and two incumbent Pacific County commissioners will face off against challengers in their bid for another term.
Frank Wolfe, chair of the Pacific County Board of Commissioners, filed to seek a third consecutive term on the board during last week’s filing period. Wolfe, a Democrat, was first elected to his Long Beach Peninsula-based seat in 2012, and was re-elected in 2016.
His quest to win a third term begins with the Aug. 4 top-two primary, in which he faces two challengers. Dan Driscoll, running as a Libertarian, and Jon Lind, running as an Independent, both filed to run for Wolfe’s seat. Another candidate, Jason Harte, filed to run as a Republican but withdrew from the race earlier this week.
A competitive election isn’t new to Wolfe, who beat out fellow Democrats in both the 2012 and 2016 general election to retain his seat. He defeated Fred Hill with 53.7% of the vote in 2016, and Richard Makowski with 59.6% of the vote in 2012.
While Driscoll and Lind stated their party preference as Libertarian and Independent, respectively, they both voted in the Democratic presidential primary on March 10, according to data from the Washington Secretary of State’s office.
Driscoll, an oysterman, owns Oysterville Sea Farms and had a well-documented legal battle with Pacific County over land-use and licensing issues related to his seafood shop. The battle escalated to the state Court of Appeals, which sided with Driscoll and upheld an original South District Court ruling in 2018.
Lind, a Long Beach resident, is a product manager for the technology company IBM, as well as an owner of short- and long-term vacation rentals in Pacific County. Lind was opposed to the county’s moratorium on new short-term vacation rentals earlier this year, which was unanimously approved by the Pacific County Board of Commissioners.
Olsen to face challenger
For much of last week’s filing period, Commissioner Lisa Olsen was the only person to have filed to run for her seat, which covers Ilwaco, Naselle and South Bend. But in the final hour on the final day of filing week, Darrell Moudry, running as a Democrat, threw his hat into the ring.
Olsen, a Republican, was first elected to her seat in 2016, when she defeated Democratic incumbent Steve Rogers with 53.1% of the vote. Previously, Olsen was a member of the South Bend City Council since 2012.
Since August of last year, Moudry has been the facilities maintenance assistant for the Pacific County Public Works Department. Previously, he was the manager at South Bend’s Coast Seafoods processing plant.
PUD race contested
Incumbent Mike Swanson filed to run for a third term as a member of the nonpartisan Pacific County Public Utility District No. 2 Board of Commissioners. Like his previous two elections, he’ll face off against a challenger, this time against Ilwaco resident Pam Hickey.
Swanson, a Naselle resident, was first elected to his position in 2008 and re-elected in 2014. While county commissioners are elected to four-year terms, PUD commissioners serve six-year terms.
The top-two primary election for all offices up for election in Washington state this year will be held on Aug. 4. Ballots are set to be mailed to voters on July 17. To make sure you’re registered to vote and your information is up to date, visit https://www.voter.votewa.gov. Because of the state’s top-two system, the only likely affect of the primary on a local level will be to winnow the Peninsula county commission race from three contenders to two.