The makeup of the Board of County Commissioners will be determined today as Republicans seem to have a legitimate shot at taking control for the first time since the 1930s.
Democratic County Commissioner Mike Wilson was ousted in the primary, leaving the seat up for grabs between Democrat Frank Gordon and Republican Allan Shores. Thus far, Gordon has raised nearly $20,000 — almost twice as much as the nearly $10,000 raised by Shores.
Democratic County Commissioner Terry Willis is hoping to hold on in a highly-competitive race with Republican Wes Cormier. In the primary, when balloting is confined to voters in the geographic districts, Cormier beat Willis. Both advanced and, like the other commission race, it’s now up to a countywide vote to decide. Willis has raised about $12,000 and Cormier has raised about $11,000.
Either Shores or Cormier are hoping to join incumbent Commissioner Herb Welch, a Republican, to give the GOP a majority on the commission for the first time in about 80 years.
For comparisons, in 2004, Willis raised $20,000 to incumbent Commissioner Bob Beerbower’s $9,000 and came within 32 votes of winning. In 2008, she raised $27,000 and won handily over Republican Ken Estes, who had $25,000.
Two years ago, then-Commissioner Al Carter raised nearly $20,000 to Welch’s $14,000, and Carter narrowly lost.
Ballots are due by 8 tonight and must be postmarked or dropped off by today.
The Daily World reviewed the most recent campaign contribution filings with the state Public Disclosure Commission.
Those records show Gordon has raised $17,871 — but he says the actual amount is closer to $20,000, noting he recently received an $1,800 donation from the Quinault Indian Nation and other smaller donations.
Gordon gave his campaign $4,000 and he also received $2,000 from the Grays Harbor Democrats. Other donors of note include $300 each from Hoquiam retired resident C. Frickle and Aberdeen retiree Bob Randich; $200 from Aberdeen retiree Dave Furford, as well as $100 from former Sheriff Dennis Morrisette, $50 each from former Port commissioner Isabelle Lamb, former PUD commissioner Jim Eddy, Aberdeen Mayor Bill Simpson and Aberdeen Councilman John Erak. He received $1,107 from a spaghetti fundraiser.There’s $500 from the local AFSCME union. He also received a combined $325 from Wild Olympics leaders Jon Owen and Ben Gruel and $250 from former county commissioner Al Carter.
Shores raised $9,893. Shores originally loaned his campaign more than $3,000, but his latest filings show he’s since repaid himself $1,952 of that.
The Grays Harbor Republican Party donated $4,349, which makes up roughly half of the money he raised for his campaign. Other major donors: $500 from Service Master owner Gary Randall,$200 from Bill Tolliver, of Ventura, Calif.; $100 from Yeager Lawn Service, and $100 each from Montesano residents Vern Chalberg, Clarence Pittack, Archie Hall, and Aberdeen resident Lorn Conway.
Willis raised $12,153, which includes $2,843 she loaned to her campaign, as well as $500 from her business Olympic View Dairy. The Grays Harbor Democrats donated $2,000 and the Quinault Indian Nation donated $1,800. Other donors of note: $50 from Port Commissioner Chuck Caldwell, $100 from PUD Commissioner Tom Casey, $100 from Jim Chumbley of the Warm Co., $300 from Harbor Chrysler Jeep Dodge, $200 from the Lubbe family, $250 from Castle Rock dairy farmer James Austin and $500 from Montesano timber owner Richard Jacobs.
Cormier has raised $11,140, which includes a loan of $1,417.
The Grays Harbor Republicans donated $3,799. Other donors of note: $900 from the lobbying arm of Master Builders, $500 from the local AFSCME union, $900 from Elma resident Kalles Forest, $500 from Cormier’s brother Dale, $500 from Service Master owner Gary Randall, $200 from Quigg Bros. manager Charles Quigg, $400 from retired Elma resident Juanita Pearson and a combined $150 from John Straka and his trucking company.
The Pacific County Commission candidates have raised their fair share of money as well.
Democrat Steve Rogers garnered $11,127 and Republican Scott McDougall has $11.844.
Rogers funds include $1,500 from the Pacific County Democrats, $500 from Ekone Oyster Co. in South Bend, $250 from Willapa Bay Shellfish, $250 from Willapa Logging Co., $200 from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn, $50 from incumbent County Commissioner Bud Cuffel and $50 from the late Sid Snyder.
McDougall loaned his campaign $200 and also includes a key endorsement and $300 from the local 252 Teamsters, which represents the employees in the Pacific County Sheriff’s Office. McDougall also received $800 from Bridgewater Logging; $500 from Ekone Oyster Co. in South Bend; $1,600 from Flannery Publications, which publishes the Willapa Harbor Herald; $900 from his family; $1,800 from Pacific County Republicans; $300 from Master Builders; $250 from Willapa Logging Co., $200 from Willapa Harbor Pharmacies and $300 from the Realtors.
In the other open seat, Democrat Frank Wolfe raised $10,438, which includes $6,025 loan, a $323 donation from incumbent County Commissioner Bud Cuffel and, $500 from the Pacific County Democrats. Fellow Democrat Richard Makowski raised $4,770, including $500 from the Pacific County Democrats, $800 from those with the same last name as the candidate, $1,300 in loans and $100 from Master Builders.
DROP OFF BALLOTS
Drop boxes are open today throughout the county until 8 p.m.
The boxes are inside the Methodist Church at 204 E. Harris St. in Oakville; VFW Post No. 5564, 158 Summit Road in McCleary; the Ocean Shores Convention Center, 120 W. Chance A La Mer Ave. in Ocean Shores; the council chambers at 506 N. Montesano St. in Westport; and inside the Grays Harbor YMCA. The Auditor’s Office inside the administration building also has a drop-off box.
There is also a curb-side drop box in front of the County Administration Building, 100 W. Broadway in Montesano, and the drive-up box at the YMCA of Grays Harbor, 2500 Simpson Ave. in Hoquiam.
Drive-up ballot boxes are also located at the Pacific County Courthouse, 200 Memorial Drive in South Bend, and the County Administration Building at 7013 Sandridge in Long Beach.