Political perennial Didier jumps into local race

The four-way race for Franklin County Commissioner includes incumbent Republican Rick Miller, Republican Clint Didier, Democrat Zahra Roach and Independent Rodney "Dobie" Burns.
The four-way race for Franklin County Commissioner includes incumbent Republican Rick Miller, Republican Clint Didier, Democrat Zahra Roach and Independent Rodney "Dobie" Burns. File

Clint Didier, the Franklin County farmer and radio host with two Super Bowl rings, has joined the crowded race for county commissioner.

Didier, a Republican, filed to run against GOP incumbent Rick Miller to represent western Franklin County as filing week wrapped up Friday.

The race includes Zahra Roach, a Pasco Democrat, educator and city planning commissioner, and Rodney "Dobie" Burns, a Franklin County independent and long-time farmer.

The top two finishers in the August primary advance to the Nov. 6 general election.

It will be Didier's fifth attempt at public office.

Clint Didier

He ran against Democrat Patty Murray for U.S. Senate in 2010; Washington Commissioner of Public Lands in 2012, and Washington's 4th Congressional District in the U.S. House in 2014 and 2016.

He lost the 2014 race to Sunnyside farmer Dan Newhouse by less than 2,500 votes.

Didier said Friday he was too busy with his hay operation to discuss his candidacy.

He is no stranger to local politics. Didier is an occasional visitor at the commission's weekly meetings and frequently comments on water rights, typically to object to regulations he believes hurt farmers.

He recently commented on a tentative plan to redraw commissioner district boundaries to better distribute the county's population, which is increasingly concentrated in Pasco.

Didier is a Mid-Columbia native who rose to fame in the NFL. He won two Super Bowl rings with the Washington Redskins.

Zahra Roach is a member of Franklin County's prominent Roach family.

She moved to Pasco at age 6, graduated from WSU Tri-Cities and taught in Boston public schools and in Pasco before leaving the workforce to raise her three children.

Roach joined the Pasco Planning Commission in 2011 and has served several terms as chairwoman. She is also a member of the Children's Development Center Foundation Board.

Her campaign is focused on access to health care, transparency and economic diversity. She said she will use her experience as a planning commissioner to striking a balance between retaining the county's agrarian roots and fueling diversification of its economy.

Burns is a third-generation Franklin County farmer who is developing residential lots on Burns Road in west Pasco. Burns previously ran for county commissioner as a Republican about a dozen years ago.

Burns said he believes the county needs a leadership change.

Filing for election concluded Friday. The 2018 election includes races for U.S. senator, all U.S. House seats, all state House seats, a number of judicial seats and most county-level offices, including commissioner, assessor, auditor, coroner, sheriff and treasurer.

In other last-minute filings across the Mid-Columbia:

  • Longtime Pasco detective Sgt. Jamie Raebel will face Benton County Deputy Coroner Bill Leach for Benton County coroner. John Hansens is not running for a third term and supports Leach. Raebel and Leach are Republicans.

  • Leo Perales, who lost a 2017 bid for Kennewick City Council, is running against incumbent Republican Sharon Brown for her state Senate seat in the 8th Legislative District. Perales is a Democrat.

  • Shir Regev of Richland is running for Brad Klippert's 8th District seat in the state House of Representatives. Regev is a Democrat who ran for Richland City Council last year. She faces Klippert and Richland City Councilman Phil Lemley, both Republicans.

  • Christopher Tracy of Richland filed to run for Larry Haler's 8th District seat in the state House. The Democrat will face Kennewick City Councilman Matt Boehnke and former Tri-City Herald publisher Gregg McConnell. Haler is not running for re-election. Boehnke and McConnell are Republicans.

  • Everett Maroon of Walla Walla is running against incumbent Bill Jenkin for his state House seat in the 16th Legislative District. Maroon is a Democrat. Jenkin is a Republican.

  • Benton-Franklin District Judge Terry Tanner will face Pasco lawyer Talesha Sams in his bid for re-election.

Wendy Culverwell: 509-582-1514