Pasco Democrats showed Monday they're in it to win it despite Republican dominance in the region.
They kicked off the 2018 election season by filing in unusually large numbers on the first day of filing week.
Two Pasco Democrats stepped up to challenge established veterans and a third is taking aim at the House seat being vacated by Rep. Terry Nealey, a Dayton Republican.
Democrat Zahra Roach, a Pasco planning commissioner and educator, is challenging Franklin County Commissioner Rick Miller, a Republican.
Democrat Jennifer Goulet of Pasco is again taking on Rep. Mary Dye, a Pomeroy Republican, to represent the Ninth District in the state House.
Democrat Rebecca Francik, formerly of the Pasco City Council, indicated she is running for Nealey's 16th Legislative District post in the House by registering her campaign with the state Public Disclosure Commission last week. Nealey is not seeking another term. Skyler Rude, a Walla Walla Republican, filed for the seat, as well.
Voters will fill a wide range of posts this year. Open seats include the U.S. Senate spot held by Democrat Maria Cantwell, the U.S. House seat held by Republican Dan Newhouse, all seats in the Washington House of Representatives, the Washington Senate seat held by Republican Sharon Brown and a long list of county-level posts.
Benton and Franklin counties each have one commissioner up for election and about 10 other positions, including auditor, assessor, clerk, coroner, prosecutor, sheriff, treasurer and assorted judicial posts.
Most offices on the 2018 ballot are partisan and the vast majority of local office holders run as Republicans.
Monday's filings brought a mix of expected and unexpected.
State Sen. Sharon Brown, a Kennewick Republican, has drawn two challengers in her bid for reelection to represent the Eighth District in the state Senate in Olympia. They are Libertarian Ryan Cooper and Republican Matthew Bishop. Both have previously run for elected office, Cooper for the state House and Bishop for Richland School Board.
As expected, Rep. Brad Klippert, a Kennewick Republican, has drawn a challenger for his Eighth District House seat. Phil Lemley, a retired engineer who serves on the Richland City Council filed to run as a Republican. Klippert has confirmed he will run for reelection but hadn't filed as of Monday.
Gregg McConnell, retired Tri-City Herald publisher, and Matt Boehnke, a Columbia Basin College cybersecurity professor and member of the Kennewick City Council, both filed for the Eighth District House seat being vacated by Larry Haler, a Richland Republican. Both candidates had previously announced their plans. Both are running as Republicans.
Matthew Sutherland, a Pullman Democrat, is challenging Rep. Joseph Schmick, a Colfax Republican, to represent the Ninth District, which includes portions of Franklin County.
In Franklin County, Republican Clerk Michael Killian faces a challenger in Jackie Lopez Giddens, a Republican who once worked as a deputy clerk. Giddens announced her candidacy shortly before Killian was enmeshed in a lawsuit by local judges over his move to take his office paperless under Washington's multimillion dollar Odyssey case management system.
In the race to represent Washington's Fourth Congressional District in the U.S. House, Democrat Christine Brown, a former Tri-City news anchor, and Rep. Newhouse, a Sunnyside a farmer, both filed Monday. Newhouse is completing his second term. Brown announced her candidacy last June.
Local incumbents filing on Monday were: Benton County Assessor Bill Spencer, Benton County Auditor Brenda Chilton, Benton County Prosecutor Andy Miller, Benton County Treasurer Ken Spencer, Franklin County Auditor Matt Beaton, Franklin County Sheriff Jim Raymond and Franklin County Treasurer Josie Koelzer. All are Republicans, except for Miller.
Friday is the deadline to file for elected office.
The primary election is Aug. 7. The general election is Nov. 6.