Seven to compete for three spots on hospital district board

With three incumbents opting to not seek reelection, the field is wide open for seven candidates in pursuit of a position on the San Juan Island public hospital district commission.

Journal staff report

Contested races for public office are few and far between in 2015.

One notable exception, however, is the San Juan Island hospital district commission. Three incumbents opted not to seek reelection, including longtime hospital district commissioner Lenore Bayuk, leaving the field wide open and the prospect of overseeing the district, as well as San Juan EMS, drawing seven candidates divided into three separate elections.

An all-volunteer board of directors, the hospital commission sets policies for the hospital district and for EMS, and it maintains financial and operational oversight over each of the public entities and the revenue-generating property tax levies of both. The EMS property tax levy is slated to expire at the end of the year unless renewed by voters.

Meanwhile, the upcoming election signals little change for the Town of Friday Harbor’s elected officials. Town Council incumbents Steve Hushabeck, Noel Monin and Barbara Starr are running unopposed, as is newly appointed Treasurer Kelli Wilson. Friday Harbor Port Commissioner Greg Hertel is also running unopposed.

At the San Juan Island Fire Department commission, former Friday Harbor fire chief Bob Low will compete against San Juan County Code Enforcement Officer Chris Laws for the position on the three-person panel currently held by county Councilman Bob Jarman, who opted against seeking reelection.

While the candidate filing period closed May 15, the county elections office will conduct a three-day “special filing period,” May 20-22, for offices in which no candidates have filed. Those offices include five position on the Orcas Island Park and Recreation District, two Orcas Island cemetery districts and one each on the Cape San Juan and Cattle Point Estates water districts.

In the race for San Juan Island hospital commission position No. 2, retired attorney Barbara Sharp will vie against veterinarian and local Republican Party leader Michelle Loftus, as well as Daniel Miller, Jr., whose most recent bids for public office include a run for the state House of Representatives and Port of Friday Harbor commission. The two candidates that garner the most votes in the Aug. 4 primary will advance to the general election.

Vying for post No. 5 are former medical industry executive Bill Williams and ophthalmologist William Hancock. Former technology executive turned patient-rights advocate Monica Harrington will compete against Jenny Ledford, a former corporate consultant, for position No. 3.

In the only other contested on San Juan Island, John Kurtz and Peter Lane will compete for a position on the San Juan Island School District Board of Directors.

For a full list of 2015 election candidates or information about the election, visit the county Elections website,