Small town swept up in the anti-MAGA wave
A potluck dinner raising funds for anti-MAGA candidates in Clallam County. | Courtesy of Democratic Party of Clallam County

SEQUIM, Washington – I was late for the Election Night Party at a Sequim motel, and as I walked toward the big meeting room cheers erupted inside. When I walked in, everyone was jumping up and down, still cheering.

Bruce Cowan, chair of the LD-24 Democrats, reached out and grasped my hand, “We won! Everything! A clean sweep!”

The results had just been posted on the big screen TV at the front by the Clallam County Board of Elections in Port Angeles.

“In Port Angeles too?” I asked Bruce above the hubbub.

“Yes! Countywide.”

And it is true. There was the hero of the night at the front of the meeting room, Kathy Peterson Downer, the incumbent Sequim City Council member. She had planned to retire but canceled when she learned that Ex-Mayor, William Armacost, the QAnon cultist, was going to run for reelection unopposed.

She changed the district she represented so “voters will have a choice to vote for someone other than a candidate who believes in QAnon ideology.”

I shook the hand of her husband, Steve, and congratulated him. “76% to 24%,” he exclaimed. “That’s a pretty good margin of victory.”

“And still counting,” chimed in Kathy Downer, embracing me.

According to the Clallam County Board of Elections, Kathy Peterson Downer defeated William Armacost in a stunning landslide. Infamously, Armacost told a radio audience two years ago during a “Coffee With The Mayor” session, that they should tune in to QAnon, a “Truth Movement.”

Also elected to the Sequim City Council were Harmony Rutter with 66% of the vote and Dan Butler with 63% of the vote. Sequim School Board incumbent Maren Halvorsen won with 70.8% of the vote, Larry Jeffryes 64% of the vote, and Eric Pickens who ran unopposed, 98% of the vote. All were candidates of the Sequim Good Governance League (SGGL), a grassroots organization that has spearheaded election campaigns that have won two landslide victories in Sequim—2021 and now.

Stands for democracy

SGGL stands for democracy, inclusion, and transparency. Led by Dale Jarvis and retired union organizer, Chris Walker, it upholds democracy, racial and gender equality, and voting rights.

And the vote returns in Port Angeles were also worthy of a few cheers: Incumbent Navarra Carr, the youngest ever PA City Council member, and the first openly LGBTQ councilmember, was reelected with 56% of the vote. Amy Miller, appointed to the City Council, was elected with 54.55% over Jim Haguewood, 45.35%.

Haguewood is a smooth-talking Republican from the “Good-Ole-Boy- Network” a real estate shark caught in a flagrant violation of city regulations on rentals of his properties.

By contrast, Amy Miller is a social worker who has dedicated her life to rescuing people hooked on drugs and the poor, homeless, and jobless people living in their cars or on the streets.

Chris Noble, running as a write-in for the Port Angeles School Board, lost to Stan Williams. Yet even Noble, in his uphill write-in campaign, racked up 35% of the vote. Next time he will win!

Clallam County Commissioner, Mark Ozias, was there with his wife, Lisa. He won reelection with 64.86% of the vote.

He told the crowd the landslide in Clallam County is a harbinger of the 2024 presidential election. The election results here echoed the results across the nation.

Ohio voters decisively approved a Constitutional Amendment upholding women’s right to abortions—a stinging rebuff to the GOP and Gov. Mike DeWine; voters reelected Kentucky’s Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear crushing Daniel Cameron, a darling of Ex-President Trump.

In Virginia, Democrats held onto their majority in the State Senate and in a stunning upset, elected a majority Democratic House. It was a sharp rebuff of Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, shot down in flames for his proposal to sharply limit women’s abortion rights.

Susan, an Indivisible Sequim activist, greeted me at the party last night. “I want to thank you for all you did,” she told me. I replied, “It was a victory made possible by all of us together.”

Her brow knit, she shook her head. “Yes, I know, everyone here. We are all part of it. But I want to thank the people here who made a special contribution. You are one of them.”

Mark Ozias is right. Clallam County is the sole “bellwether” county in the nation, invariably voting for the winning Presidential candidate. If we work hard enough in 2024 to turn out the vote, we can say, “As Clallam County goes, so goes the nation!”

We hope you appreciated this article. At People’s World, we believe news and information should be free and accessible to all, but we need your help. Our journalism is free of corporate influence and paywalls because we are totally reader-supported. Only you, our readers and supporters, make this possible. If you enjoy reading People’s World and the stories we bring you, please support our work by donating or becoming a monthly sustainer today. Thank you!


Tim Wheeler
Tim Wheeler

Tim Wheeler has written over 10,000 news reports, exposés, op-eds, and commentaries in his half-century as a journalist for the Worker, Daily World, and People’s World. Tim also served as editor of the People’s Weekly World newspaper.  His book News for the 99% is a selection of his writings over the last 50 years representing a history of the nation and the world from a working-class point of view. After residing in Baltimore for many years, Tim now lives in Sequim, Wash.