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Benton County office candidates report funds raised to date

Less than a week after candidates filed for county positions, all of the campaign money in the Tri-Cities is flowing in Benton County, with none -- at least so far -- being reported in Franklin County.

Benton County candidates have reported having $154,766 in campaign cash, with six weeks to go before the August primary.

Thirteen elective offices have attracted 21 candidates in Benton County. There are 13 candidates for nine offices in Franklin County, but no one there had reported receiving any campaign donations as of Wednesday.

The richest races are for Benton County District Court judgeships, where Joe Burrowes is leading in District 4 with $29,051. His challenger, Dave Peter-sen, reported having $8,877.

The District 3 judicial race also has big money, with Alex Ekstrom listing $19,283 and Dan Kathren reporting $11,616.

Max Benitz Jr., Benton County commissioner, reported raising $7,385 to beat back District 2 challengers Shon Small, who had $16,563 cash in hand, and Timothy Dalton, who had $3,273.

Assessor Barbara Wagner, who initially considered not seeking re-election, had $5,225, while her heavily financed opponent Bill Spencer reported having $15,589. So far, Grant Boyer is running his door-to-door campaign on shoestrings and listed no money raised in his campaign report to the Washington Public Disclosure Commission.

Sheriff candidate Steve Keane, who is unopposed to replace retiring Sheriff Larry Taylor, had $14,258 he won't need to spend.

Appointed Auditor Brenda Chilton had $10,637, while Claude Oliver, the former county treasurer and county commissioner now seeking her office, reported no money in his campaign account.

The coroner's race had John Hansens with $9,575 and Alberta Redwing with $2,924. Each seeks to replace retiring Coroner Rick Corson.

County Clerk Josie Delvin had $1,743 and is unopposed for re-election.

Also unopposed are prosecuting attorney Andy Miller and treasurer Duane Davidson, and Terry Tanner, Robert Ingvalson and Katy Butler for district judgeships. Davidson reported $305, while the others report no campaign cash in hand as of Wednesday.

Franklin County has four contested races, with no campaign cash reported so far.

-- Auditor -- Zona Lenhart is being challenged by Matt Beaton.

-- District 3 Commissioner -- Rick Miller is being challenged by Hans "Jochen" Engelke.

-- Prosecuting Attorney -- Steve Lowe is being challenged by Shawn Sant.

-- Treasurer -- Tiffany Coffland faces challenger Josie Koelzer.

Sheriff Richard Lathim, Coroner Don Blasdel, Clerk Michael J. Killian, Assessor Steven Marks and District Court Judge Gerald F. "Jerry" Roach are unopposed and also had no campaign cash.

Candidates are required to report campaign donations to the Public Disclosure Commission periodically throughout the campaign.

Those reports are available for public inspection at www. pdc.wa.gov. Click on "view actual reports" and then go to the link for local races and choose Benton or Franklin county.

-- John Trumbo: 582-1529; jtrumbo@tricityherald.com

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