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Robertsen drops race for Clallam community development director

Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES -- Clallam County Community Development Director Rob Robertson called off his re-election campaign Thursday, effectively handing the job to his opponent, John H. Miller.

Earlier this week, Robertsen was heard to complain about what he considered the drudgery of running for office, even in an election where both candidates were expected to campaign cleanly.

``God, I feel good!'' he exclaimed Thursday shortly after he withdrew his candidacy.

``Campaigning, to me, is a horror.''

Robertsen's withdrawal from the election came six days after the deadline passed for filing for office.

He is the second announced candidate to bow out of this year's election.

County Commissioner Mike Chapman called off his campaign for sheriff in June. His former campaign manager, sheriff's Sgt. Bill Benedict, replaced Chapman to oppose incumbent Joe Martin.

Charter changed in 2002

Robertsen is the nation's only elected development director, chosen by voters after they changed the Clallam County Charter in 2002 to make the job elective, not appointive.

``Actually, I have mixed feelings about this,'' he told Peninsula Daily News on Thursday.

When he filed for re-election on the first day of the weeklong filing period July 24, he said, ``I didn't think about all the ramifications.''

Those included diverting to a campaign the energy Robertsen wants to spend creating a tough anti-junk ordinance, drafting coherent land-clearing and grading regulations, and clarifying the language of the county zoning code -- all by the end of the year.

``Doing that and running a campaign, I wouldn't be able to put in the work that I should,'' he said.

Robertsen, 69, said his decision had nothing to do with his health.


Peninsula News Network

August 4, 2006

Robertson wanted to focus on job, not campaign

Thursday, August 03

DCD Director Rob Robertson says he “feels bad” about changing his mind to run for the Department of Community Development Director’s job, but says he simply wanted to focus on doing his job, and then retiring after the first of the year.RobRobertson0000.jpg

Robertson created a shockwave through the local government community Thursday when he suddenly withdrew from the '06 election just a week after filing. His withdrawal essentially hands the job to opponent John Miller because filing week is over.

Robertson tells PNN he and his wife had been struggling with the idea of running for another term in the post, but he ultimately decided to go for another term. But when he drew an opponent in John Miller last week it changed the picture for him. He says he simply didn’t want to try and campaign over the next three months and still run a “very complex department”.

Plus, upon reflection Robertson decided he would rather wrap up several key projects and then retire after the first of the year to spend more time with his wife and family. Robertson is 69-years old. He says health issues had nothing to do with his decision to drop out of the contest and that his “health is good”.

Robertson says it’s “not fair” to the voters to have filed and then dropped out and admits he should have “thought this out months ago”. But he says he didn’t want to “politicize” the operation of the DCD, and would rather work on issues like cleaning up junk vehicles and finishing work on a clearing and grading ordinance in the remaining months of his term. 


Miller reserved about apparent DCD victory

Peninsula News Network
Thursday, August 03

John Miller says he’s “walking on Cloud 9” after hearing the news that his opponent in the race for Department of Community Development Director has dropped out of the contest.John-Miller-file0000.jpg

But Miller tells PNN he’s not counting on the new job until the election season is over.

Miller became the only candidate in the race for the job of DCD Director Thursday when incumbent Director Rob Robertson suddenly dropped out. Robertson was unavailable for comment Thursday to explain his decision to step aside. Miller says Robertson did personally inform him of his decision Wednesday afternoon.

For Miller, the news is almost like an election victory in July because its too late for anyone else to apply for the non-partisan race. However, there’s always the prospect of someone launching a write-in campaign, and Miller says he’s not counting on anything just yet. He tells PNN he owes the voters to still go out in public and explain his background and discuss the issues affecting the office. Miller also says he would be “honored” to follow Robertson in the DCD job and continue to his projects, such as the cleanup of derelict cars and junk vehicles.

Miller is also Executive Director of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe but says he’s made no plans yet for resigning that post until he’s had a chance to discuss the latest developments with tribal leaders. But he anticipates that he would step down by the first of the year if he is elected to the county job.






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