Franklin County Treasurer Tiffany Coffland is facing her first challenger after five years in office.
It's a new experience for both candidates. Josie Koelzer, the Basin City Republican running against the Democratic incumbent, is a political newcomer
Coffland, 42, i s a longtime county employee, starting as a licensing clerk in 1989. She worked her way through the ranks and earned an associate's degree with an emphasis in accounting from Columbia Basin College along the way. She was the county's human resources director before being appointed treasurer in 2005.
Koelzer, 49, is the financial manager for Connell's Ed Poe Insurance firm and for an ag business in Kennewick. She has also managed the budget for her family's farm for 25 years. Koelzer received her bachelor's degree in psychology and a minor in human resources from Washington State University last year.
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She shows leadership skills, serving on the North Franklin Agriculture Advisory Board and helping initiate the Mid-Columbia Sustainable Business Network.
But Coffland is skilled as well. She obviously impressed Franklin County officials during her time as an employee there. And she has a wealth of experience of county systems and departments and has worked to gain efficiencies in the treasurer's office.
Koelzer has no government experience and a certain amount of naivet about the political process, but she has lots of real world experience managing the finances of small businesses and believes she could find ways to save the county money.
We're happy to see some competition for Franklin County positions, but we've long held the opinion that administrative offices like treasurer, sheriff and coroner should be based on individual merits, not politics.
In this case, it's clear that Coffland is the individual with the experience necessary to serve Franklin County residents as their treasurer.
The Herald editorial board recommends Tiffany Coffland for Franklin County treasurer.