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Mayor of Forks enters Clallam County commissioner race today

Bryon Monohon - Submitted photo
Bryon Monohon
— image credit: Submitted photo

Bryon Monohon, mayor of Forks, announced today (Thursday) that he will run as an independent candidate for Clallam County commissioner in District 3.

District 3 covers Forks and the western third of Clallam County and is now represented by Mike Doherty.

Port Angeles City Councilwoman Sissi Bruch, a Democrat, and Bill Peach of Forks, a retired forester and a Republican, have already filed for the seat. 

Doherty, a Democrat, said Wednesday he was still considering whether to seek a fifth four-year term. Brunch has said she will withdraw her name if Doherty runs.

Monohon, 51, a substitute school teacher, was re-elected by Forks residents to a second four-year term as the town's mayor in November 2013. Forks has a "strong mayor" system of government, unlike Port Angeles, Sequim and Port Townsend, and he is the town's top administrative official. overseeing the city departments. The job is unpaid.

“I have decided to run as an independent," Monohon said in a statement.

"I've served in a non-partisan role for many years, and I'm very much a moderate who is interested in listening to what people have to say on both sides of the political spectrum. 

"I have always worked for people first before a party and as a result I represent both liberal and conservative issues. 

"My established track record clearly shows that I am a fiscal conservative, and I am always concerned about maintaining strong property rights, low taxes, and making sure there is a return of value for tax-payers. 

"At the same time we have to be very aware of the realistic challenges that we all face in the future to provide for a healthy environment for our children. I can maintain a sense of balance in the county as well as utilize my years of contacts that I have developed being mayor. I look forward to sharing my ideas with the voters. 

Asked if he would remain as Forks mayor if elected as a county commissioner, he replied in an email to the Peninsula Daily News:

"I will stay on as mayor no matter what through the end of 2014. 

"MRSC considers mayor and council member to be 'conflicting' positions, so while technically I could maintain both, it would make sense to step down as mayor upon assuming the commissioner's seat. (I've never been a fan of one person holding two positions.) 

"The vacated mayor's position then falls to the deputy mayor (currently Mike Breidenbach) or else down the line of City Council seniority until a council member accepts the position."

MRSC is the Municipal Research and Services Center, an independent nonprofit advisory group to the state's local governments.

Former city councilman

Before being taking office as mayor in January 2010, he was a Forks city councilman from 2004-09. He has also served terms on the Clallam Transit board of directors and the Clallam County Board of Health.

Monohon has a B.A. in history from Lewis & Clark College and a B.S. in forest resources from the University of Washington. He is a substitute teacher in the Quillayute Valley School District. His wife, Beatrice, is a mental health therapist, and their son Louie is a sophomore math major at Seattle University. 

He is the principal trombonist in the Port Angeles Symphony and plays in other music groups.

Online and in-person filing for 34 positions in Clallam County ends at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

Any position with more than two candidates signed up will be on the Aug. 5 primary ballot. The vote will narrow the field to two who will vie in the Nov. 4 general election.

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