Linda Barnfather, a Sequim resident and legislative assistant to state Rep. Kevin Van De Wege for the past three years, announced April 15 her candidacy for the office of Clallam County commissioner that will be left vacant by commissioner Steve Tharinger.
Barnfather said Tharinger’s decision not to run for re-election presented an opportunity for her to step up and serve at a county level.
State Rep. Tharinger, D-Sequim, announced earlier last week he will not run for a fourth term as county commissioner.
During her three-year stint as Van DeWege’s aide, Barnfather simultaneously served former House Majority Leader Lynn Kessler for the last nine months of Kessler’s career.
“In my legislative role, I have daily frontline contact with the citizens of Clallam County,” Barnfather said. “Through my conversations and correspondence with them, I have become well-versed in the issues of importance to this region.”
Barnfather said she thinks environmental issues like the Shoreline Master Program update and WRIA 18 are important to Clallam residents, along with concerns about the proposed Carlsborg sewer system and managing growth.
“I truly believe in Clallam County and am happy to live there,” she said. “I’m also concerned for the future.”
Prior to serving the 24th Legislative District, she worked as a property manager and owned a small property development company with her husband, James Barnfather, who is a Clallam County Fire District 3 commissioner.
Linda Barnfather has been an Olympic Peninsula resident for eight years.
“I will bring a fresh perspective, experience and a positive voice to the Clallam County board of commissioners,” Barnfather said. “My collaborative approach to solving issues will involve teamwork with other board members and local officials, and an open door and listening ear to the citizens of the county. I look forward to talking with people over the coming months about their thoughts and ideas on the future of our community.”