Democrat files to run for Benton County Commission

By Geoff Folsom, Tri-City HeraldMay 13, 2014 

A Democrat is planning to enter the race for Benton County commissioner.

Brad Taylor, 57, of Prosser, has filed with the state Public Disclosure Commission to raise money, and plans to file with the county elections department Wednesday, he said.

Incumbent Commissioner Shon Small of Prosser and Tim Dalton of Kennewick, both Republicans, have already filed.

Taylor has been a county employee for 25 years, working in Benton County's public works department. He has been endorsed by several labor unions, including the Southeast Washington Central Labor Council, he said.

"It's just a little bit of a reform type deal," Taylor told the Herald. "All workers should get a little bit more representation from the board (of commissioners)."

This would be Taylor's first run for elected office. He has served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 2008 and 2012.

Taylor's entry would mean that the candidates will face off in the Aug. 5 primary, with the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, moving on to the Nov. 4 general election.

Candidates for other offices made their filings official Tuesday.

Pasco Police Capt. Jim Raymond filed to run against Franklin County Sheriff Richard Lathim, who is looking for his seventh four-year term in office. The two have been raising money for months, with the amounts dwarfing the totals raised by other Franklin County candidates.

Raymond has raised $11,713, according to the state Public Disclosure Commission. His largest contributors have been Tim and Bobbi Nickerson and their company, Clearly Colorado. The Colorado Springs bottled water business has accounted for $5,700 in donations from six $950 contributions.

Lathim has raised $7,425, including two $950 donations from Jerome Jacobs, owner of Consolidated Telecom Inc. of Plano, Texas, which bills itself as a leading provider of telecommunications services to county jails and juvenile detention centers.

Lathim also received two $950 contributions from Rocking L Land and Livestock of Pasco. The state Secretary of State's website shows that company is owned by Kennewick attorney Chris Mertens.

Benton County Sheriff Steve Keane and state Rep. Brad Klippert, R-Kennewick, also filed for re-election Tuesday. They are unopposed.

Two more candidates filed to run for the congressional seat of retiring U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Pasco. Gavin Seim of Ephrata is an outspoken supporter of gun rights and Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy. Glen R. Stockwell of Ritzville calls on his website for completing the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project and impeaching President Obama. Both have been candidates for office before.

They bring the total of official candidates for the 4th District seat up to seven. They join Estakio Beltran of Yakima, Dan Newhouse of Sunnyside, Clint Didier of Eltopia, George Cicotte of Kennewick and Kevin Midbust of Richland.

Mary Ruth Edwards of Prosser filed late Monday for another run against state Rep. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla. Edwards ran a campaign in 2012 against Walsh that was largely based on opposition to Walsh's vote in favor of allowing same-sex marriage earlier that year.

Walsh defeated Edwards, a teacher in the Prosser School District, 58 percent to 42 percent in 2012.

Didier, an Eltopia farmer, and Olga businessman Curtiss Wilkstrom are Edwards' biggest financial supporters, according to the Public Disclosure Commission. Each donated $900.

Franklin County Treasurer Josie Koelzer also filed after the close of business Monday. She remains unopposed.

Candidates have until Friday to file.

-- Geoff Folsom: 509-582-1543;; Twitter; @GeoffFolsom

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