Blunt withdraws from Sheriff’s race

MONTESANO — Aberdeen resident Stan Blunt’s campaign for county sheriff didn’t even last 72 hours.

Blunt officially withdrew his name from the ballot Monday afternoon, saying he had second thoughts and the campaign wasn’t going as well as he was hoping it would. Blunt’s decision means Sheriff Rick Scott, appointed last fall, will run unopposed for the last year of retired Sheriff Mike Whelan’s term.

“I’m glad this election didn’t get turned into a circus,” Scott said. “I was really worried that this would turn into an attempt to air political agendas when the election should be about who is better qualified for the position and dealing with the day-to-day issues that come up.”

Blunt filed specifically so he could have a platform to talk about county policies that may affect immigration issues.

Blunt notes, “I think I must have had 60 phone calls over the weekend and most of them were, ‘What are you doing, man? Are you insane? You’re going to turn this county into a joke.’”

Blunt said he didn’t really have answers to questions residents and reporters asked him on how he would run the office.

Instead, he said he wanted to talk about immigration policy.

Blunt said he wanted to work with the Republican majority on the Board of County Commissioners to draft and help enforce an ordinance mandating county contractors run their workers through a federal program known as e-Verify, which checks on the citizenship of individuals. The city of Hoquiam recently approved the e-Verify mandate for their contracts and there’s been talk or presentations before the city councils in Aberdeen, Montesano and Elma.

“There will need to be, hopefully, eventual absolute verification of employee/employer status on all county department contracts regardless of contract size or type of contract,” Blunt said.

“If the County Commissioners and their departments can make this work then one would hope that the cities and businesses in Grays Harbor will follow suit. It is realized that there are numerous businesses that utilize cash paid labor and pay no ‘L&I’ or Social Security.”

Even if he’s not a candidate anymore, Blunt said he still wants to work on those issues.

“This is a very important issue to me and it shouldn’t be ignored,” he said.

The filing fee of nearly $900 is not refundable, County Auditor Vern Spatz said.