Two Montesano Democrats file to face incumbent Republican Rep. Walsh in 19th District

Monday was the first day of candidate filing for the fall election season, with races shaping up in two County Commissioner positions and a primary in one House race in the 19th Legislative District.

Former boat builder and current Westport Maritime Museum Director John Shaw of Aberdeen has filed to face incumbent Randy Ross, also of Aberdeen, for District 2 Grays Harbor County Commissioner.

“We aren’t getting enough done to improve the economy in our area,” Shaw said when asked why he decided to file for office. “Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, our state was enjoying one of the best economies in its history, and yet our area did not prosper in the way that I believe it could have because we have a tendency to let government stonewall us. Sometimes you need to be willing to stay at the table and not take ‘no’ for an answer. It’s too easy to throw up the excuse that we are constrained by rules and regulations instead of pushing to find solutions or build consensus.

“Eventually, the pandemic will end and there will be a need to recover and rebuild,” continued Shaw. “I look at things from a more entrepreneurial point of view on how to get the result that we want, which means I have an ability to not be overly constrained in trying to find answers. We are going to need that when this pandemic ends.”

The District 1 County Commissioner race so far has two candidates, both from Montesano: Jamie Nichols, who filed as a Democrat, and John (Jack) Dwyer, who filed as an independent. The position has been held for eight years by Wes Cormier of Elma, who announced in January he would run for 19th District Senator as a Republican to face Dean Takko, D-Longview. Cormier had not yet officially filed as of early Monday afternoon.

Nichols is the chairperson of Grays Harbor County Democrats and ran for commissioner in 2016. Dwyer has served on the Montesano School Board, vice president of ARC of Grays Harbor, and as president of the Grays Harbor Chiropractors Association.

Also in the 19th, incumbent Position 1 Republican Rep. Jim Walsh of Aberdeen had two challengers file Monday, both Democrats and both from Montesano, Clint Bryson and Marianna Everson. Everson describes herself as a nurse, mother, union member and Progressive Democrat. Bryson is a third-generation electrical worker who lists among his priorities COVID-19 recovery, improving the health care system and protecting the region’s fishing, crabbing and oyster farming industries.

Local candidate filings Monday

Congressional District 6: Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor

Grays Harbor Superior Court Position 1: David Edwards, Aberdeen, non-paritisan

Grays Harbor Superior Court Position 2: Katie Svoboda, Montesano, non-partisan

Grays Harbor Superior Court Position 3: David Mistachkin, Aberdeen, non-partisan

19th Legislative District, State Senator: Dean Takko, D-Longview

19th Legislative District, State Representative Position 1: Clint Bryson, D-Montesano; Marianna Everson, D-Montesano

24th Legislative District, State Senator: Connie Beauvais, R-Joyce

24th Legislative District, State Representative Position 1: Mike Chapman, D-Port Angeles; Daniel Charles Svoboda, Port Hadlock, No party preference.

PUD Commissioner 3: Russ Skolrood, Hoquiam, non-partisan

Commissioner District 1: Jamie Nichols, Montesano, Democrat; John (Jack) Dwyer, Montesano, independent

Commissioner District 2: John Shaw, Aberdeen, no party preference; Randy Ross, Aberdeen, no party preference