Five finalists for appointment to succeed Benton County Treasurer Duane Davidson will be interviewed Thursday night by the county Republican party.
The Benton County Central Committee meets at 7 p.m. at the Benton PUD, 2721 W. 10th Ave., Kennewick. The session is open to the public, but the committee will meet in private to choose three candidates to recommend to the Benton County Commission.
The commission will make the final appointment for the post, which has an annual salary of nearly $107,000.
Davidson resigned in January after being elected state treasurer. State law requires that the commission appoint a temporary treasurer from finalists recommended by Davidson’s party.
The appointee will serve until this fall, when there will be an election for the balance of Davidson’s elected term, which expires in 2018.
Kirsten Yniguez, a deputy under Davidson, was appointed to operate the office until a replacement is appointed.
Yniguez is one of the five finalists and has indicated she will run for office this fall. The candidates are:
▪ Michael D. Massey — He is active in local and national Republican politics and has a background managing produce facilities and a commercial and agricultural banking background. He earned a bachelor’s from Cornell University after studying at Washington State University.
▪ Kenneth Spencer — He is active in local Republican politics and has a bachelor’s in agricultural economics from California Polytechnic College. His background includes teaching at Columbia Basin College and 40 years as a real estate appraiser.
▪ Carrie Tribble — She has a degree in accounting and spent 20 years as a Yakima County sheriff’s deputy. She was a union representative and has served as a state level official for the Washington State DARE Officers’ Association. She has worked as a records clerk, as well as finance director for the city of Mabton.
▪ Jeanette Garcia Villanueva — She earned degrees in accounting and finance at Gonzaga University and has been Benton County deputy treasurer for more than five years. Her background includes working as a Spokane County deputy clerk and as a financial representative for Washington Trust Bank.
▪ Kirsten Yniguez — She is the interim treasurer and has spent 10 years in the office working for Davidson. She earned a bachelor’s from Eastern Washington University and has experience in tax adjustment and collections, as well as the office’s foreclosure avoidance program.