As temperatures warm up, so could the races for some local political offices.
Candidate filing week is May 11-15.
This year doesn’t have 2014’s open congressional election or next year’s statewide and presidential races. But numerous city council, school district and port positions are on the ballot. Plus, voters will be able to participate in a couple of special elections to fill unexpired terms.
The only position serving both Benton and Franklin counties up for election this year is for a seat held by Superior Court Judge Alex Ekstrom. The winner of the race will finish out the last year of the four-year term originally won by Judge Craig Matheson in 2012. Matheson retired in 2013, and Judge Sal Mendoza Jr., whom Gov. Jay Inslee appointed to fill the position, won reelection uncontested later that year. Ekstrom was appointed by Inslee and took the oath of office in September 2014, after Mendoza moved to the federal bench.
In Kennewick, at-large city council positions held by Bob Olson, Paul Parish and Mayor Steve Young are up for reelection. They are all four-year terms. Council members elected by ward will next be up for election in 2017.
In Richland, several city councilmen have their seats up for grabs: Pos. 2 Brad Anderson, Pos. 5 Phillip Lemley, Pos. 6 Terry Christensen and Pos. 7 Greg Jones. Council terms are typically four years, but in Richland the winning candidate with the fewest votes serves a two-year term. Jones had the fewest votes among winners in 2013, so he must run again.
Pos. 5 Robert Perkes, Pos. 6 Ron Hayden and Pos. 7 Tony Benegas all have four-year terms expiring on the West Richland City Council this year. Pos. 1 Councilman Byron Martin, who was appointed to the council in February 2014, is running to fill the last two years of the term that Jay Bowman was elected to in 2013.
Prosser Mayor Paul Warden faces reelection, as do Councilmen Marvin L. Ward, Bob Elder, Randy Taylor, Steven W. Becken and Scott Hamilton.
In Benton City, Mayor Lloyd Carnahan, and Council Members Linda Lehman, Connie Meredith and Michelle McLeod are up for reelection.
Three Kennewick School Board members, Ben Messinger in Pos. 3, Ron Mabry in Pos. 4 and Brian Brooks in Pos. 5, also are up for reelection. All the positions are four-year terms.
Rick Donahoe in Pos. 3, Mary Guay in Pos. 4 and Phyllis Strickler in Pos. 5 are up for reelection on the Richland School Board.
The Prosser School Board positions of Andy Howe, Warren Barmore, Bruce Matsumura and Peggy Douglas are up for reelection.
Seats held by Tim Cook, Wayne Elston and Tawny Garrett on the Kiona-Benton City School Board will appear on the ballot.
Also appearing on the ballot are seats held by Stephen McGaughey, Lois Blair, Priscilla Crane and Larry S. Ayre on the Finley School Board.
Jane Hagarty’s seat is up for reelection in the Port of Benton as is Port of Kennewick Commissioner Don Barnes’ position.
Benton County seats are also up for grabs in the Kennewick and Prosser hospital districts, the Paterson and Grandview school districts, and the boards of fire districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 and the West Benton Regional Fire Authority. Seats are also open in the County Well Water District and Plymouth and Tri-City Estates water districts.
In Franklin County, the election got more interesting after last week’s resignation of state Rep. Susan Fagan, R-Pullman, who was accused of falsifying travel reimbursement reports. Commissioners from the six-county District 9 met Friday and selected Mary Dye, a Republican state committeewoman from Pomeroy, to fill her seat until the November election.
The candidates looking to serve until the special election were required to be Republican, but members of any party can file to run in the election to fill the last year of Fagan’s term. The district includes west Pasco and rural Franklin County.
Three Pasco City Council members’ seats are up for reelection: Mayor Matt Watkins, who has an at-large seat; District 1 Councilman Al Yenney; and District 5 Councilwoman Rebecca Francik. They all have four-year terms.
Races with three or more candidates will advance to the Aug. 4 primary, where they will be narrowed to two for the Nov. 3 general election. Council races are voted on by residents of the district in the primary, and citywide in the general election. Pasco has sought an opinion from the state Attorney General’s Office to see if it can do the general election by district, but it doesn’t expect an answer back in time to change the process this year.
Seats held by Connell City Council members Ray H. Minor and Kathryn Silva are up for reelection. Council elections also are being held in Mesa and Kahlotus.
Two at-large Pasco School Board members, Ryan Brault and Scott Lehrman, face reelection. The North Franklin, Kahlotus, Othello, Star and Washtucna school districts also will have open seats.
Port of Pasco Commissioner Jim Klindworth’s six-year term is ending.
Other Franklin County elections include the Port of Kahlotus, fire districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, cemetery districts 1 and 2, Hospital District 1 and the Basin City Water-Sewer District.