Election filing week: Richland councilman Fox confirms he won't seek re-election in the fall

May 16, 2013 

One longtime Richland City Council member won’t keep his seat at the dais no matter the results of this year’s council election.

John Fox confirmed Wednesday that he isn’t seeking re-election this fall. The 85-year-old said the timing is right for him to end his council tenure.

He joined in 2002 and is in his sixth year as the council-selected mayor. He also served on the Richland School Board for eight years in the ’70s and ’80s.

Fox will finish out his term on the council and then welcome a new member to the dais.

“I think there are a lot of good people out there, capable of doing a good job on the city council. I’d like to see somebody who is dedicated to public service step up to it,” he told the Herald.

So far, his Position 7 council seat has one candidate. Gregory L. Jones, 58, a member of the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission. He filed Wednesday.

Jones is a nuclear safety specialist for the Department of Energy’s Office of River Protection. Three other Richland council seats also are up for election this year. Incumbents Bob Thompson, Sandra Kent and David Rose so far are unopposed.

Candidates have until Friday to enter 57 races in Benton County and 49 races in Franklin County. If three or more people file for one position, a primary election will take place Aug. 6, with the top two vote-getters advancing to the Nov. 5 general election.

Franklin County will have a drawing at 10 a.m. Monday to determine the order in which names will appear on ballots during the Aug. 6 primary. The drawing takes place in the county elections department on the first floor of the courthouse.

Here are highlights from the third day of candidate filing:

Judgeships

A new candidate filed Wednesday for the Court of Appeals judgeship now held by Judge Dennis Sweeney. George Fearing of Richland joined Kennewick’s Terry J. Bloor in the race to fill the remaining three years of the Division 3, District 2 seat.

Kennewick

Rick L. Fehr filed late Tuesday to challenge incumbent Kennewick Public Hospital District Commissioner Wanda Briggs.

West Richland

Councilwoman Gail Brown filed to run for re-election Wednesday.

Benton City

The Kiona-Benton City School Board saw its second contested race Wednesday, when board member Dan Raap filed for re-election. Newcomer Wade Haun also has filed for the Position 5 seat.

The board also will have a three-person race between incumbent Charles Gray, Ivan Howard and Daniel Johnson, which triggers a primary election.

Howard has worked as a Teamster on the Hanford site for 27 years. Johnson has lived in the community for five years, has two children in the district’s schools and is a manager for Hanford site subcontractor URS.

Prosser

Prosser City Councilman Ernie Troemel filed for re-election, but he will receive a challenge from Trevor Day. Linda Gorst filed Wednesday for the position now held by Councilman Jason Rainer, who has yet to file.

Incumbent Andy Gilbertson filed to run for commissioner in the Prosser Public Hospital District.

Fire districts

In Franklin County, Lisa Douglas has filed to run for Fire District 3 commissioner. Douglas, the wife of Roger Lenk of the Citizens for Lifestyle Preservation group, is running for the seat now held by Ronald Shuck, who has not filed. Incumbent Galen Koelzer in Fire District 4 is the only other fire district candidate to file.

Benton County has one contested fire commissioner race in the Fire District 6 race for Position 2. It’s between incumbent Jody Maddox and Robert Crow. Other fire district candidates to file are incumbents Jerry Sleater in District 1, Steve Rouse in District 2, Max Benitz Jr. in District No. 3 and Woody Russell in District 4.

-- Reporters Sara Schilling, Geoff Folsom and Ty Beaver contributed to this story.

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