Halfway through filing week, nearly a third of Mid-Columbia races have no candidate

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For those who have ever entertained dreams of running for public office, now is the time.

Midway through filing week, no one has filed to run in 30 of the 102 Mid-Columbia posts up for election.

While the numbers will improve as last-minute candidates turn in their paperwork by Friday’s deadline, it’s a striking reminder that self-government depends on citizens running for elected office.

Rural school boards and fire districts seemed to have the most difficulty attracting candidates, but a smattering of city council posts from Mesa to Benton City were begging for candidates Wednesday evening.

To date, 95 new and returning candidates have filed to run in 72 races in Benton and Franklin counties. There were no candidates in 25 Franklin County races and nine Benton County contests at the close of business.

Wednesday brought several noteworthy additions to the 2019 campaign season.

Richland Mayor Bob Thompson filed to retain his Position 1 City Council seat. He has one challenger so far, Kalen Finn.

Pasco City Councilman David Milne drew a challenger in Isaac “Ike” Myhrum for Position 5.

Lloyd Becker, who ran for Richland City Council two years ago, is back. He filed to run for Position 5 on the Richland School Board. He joins Jay Clough. Incumbent Brett Amidan has not filed.

Here is a list of the candidates who have filed for election in Benton and Franklin counties as of Wednesday.

The list now includes positions without candidates. New additions listed in italics.

Check back for updates.

City Councils

Kennewick, Pos. 5, Chuck Torelli, incumbent, Chariss Warner, challenger, Brandon Pocasangre, challenger

Kennewick, Pos. 6 (open), Brad Beauchamp.

Kennewick, Pos. 7, Lindy Verhei, challenger, Radona “Liz” Deveraux, challenger, Steve Young, incumbent

Richland, Pos. 1, Kalen Finn, challenger, Robert Thompson, incumbent

Richland, Pos. 2, Brad Anderson, incumbent, Larry Stanley, challenger

Richland, Pos. 5, Phillip R. Lemley, incumbent, Mike Luzzo, challenger

Richland, Pos. 6, Terry Christensen, incumbent

Pasco, Pos. 2, Ruben Alvarado, incumbent

Pasco, Pos. 5, David Milne, incumbent, Isaac “Ike” Myhrum, challenger

Pasco, Pos. 7 (open), Zahra Roach

West Richland, Pos. 5, David M. Fetto, incumbent

West Richland, Pos. 6, Fred Brink, incumbent

West Richland, Pos. 7, Ken Stoker, incumbent, Kate Moran, challenger

Benton City Mayor, Linda Lehman, incumbent, David Sandretto, challenger

Benton City, Pos. 3 (open), John Derderian

Benton City, Pos. 4, Keila Gordon, Connie Meredith

Benton City, Pos. 5, No candidate

Prosser Mayor, Randy Taylor, incumbent

Prosser, Pos. 4, Robert Elder, incumbent

Prosser, Pos. 5, Mary Ruth Edwards, incumbent

Prosser, Pos. 6, Steven Becken, incumbent

Prosser, Pos. 7, Stephanie Groom, incumbent

Connell, Pos. 5, Ray H. Minor, incumbent; KaTrina Kunkel, challenger

Connell, Pos. 6, Jesse Mandler, Shelly Oelkers Harper

Mesa, Pos. 1, Jim Cronenwett, incumbent

Mesa, Pos. 2, No candidate

Mesa Pos. 3, Elizabeth Castro, incumbent

Mesa Pos. 4, Merlin Giesbrecht, incumbent

Kahlotus, Pos. 4, Corrected Jim Hagans, incumbent

Kahlotus, Pos. 5, No candidate

Kahlotus, Pos. 6, Shirley Ayers, incumbent,

School Boards

Kennewick, Pos. 3, Ron Mabry, incumbent, Tony M. Ashton, challenger

Kennewick, Pos. 4, James Langford, David Chumney, Michael Connors

Kennewick, Pos. 5, Patrick “Pat” Mastaler, Diane Sundvik

Pasco, Pos. 1, Scott Lehrman, incumbent

Pasco, Pos. 2, Steven Castellano

Richland, Pos. 3, Rick Donahoe, Matthew J. Bishop

Richland, Pos. 4, Jay Clough, Lloyd Becker

Richland, Pos. 5, Jill M. Oldson, Rama Devagupta, Lori Wasner

Finley, Pos. 3, Julie Bussell

Finley, Pos. 1, 2 and 4: No candidates

North Franklin, Pos. 1, Patricia “Patti” Walker, incumbent

North Franklin, Pos. 2, Terry A. Utecht, incumbent

North Franklin, Pos. 5, No candidate

Kiona-Benton City, Pos. 1, Julie Rheinschmidt

Kiona-Benton City, Pos. 4, Dale Thornton

Prosser, Pos. 1, Margaret “Peggy” Douglas

Prosser, Pos. 2, No candidate

Prosser, Pos. 5, Scott Hunt

Othello, Pos. 2, Rob Simmons, incumbent

Othello, Pos. 4 and 5, No candidates

Grandview, Pos. 1, Antonio E. Sanchez, incumbent

Grandview, Pos. 3, Elizabeth Alba, incumbent

Grandview, Pos 4, Jessica Trevino, incumbent

Paterson, Pos. 3, Ryan Munn

Paterson, Pos. 4, Sarah Maddox, incumbent

Paterson, Pos. 5: No candidate

Star, Pos. 1, 2 and 3, No candidates

Washtucna, Pos. 1 and 3, No candidates


Port of Benton, Pos. 1, Roy Keck, incumbent, Bill O’Neil, challenger

Port of Kennewick, Pos. 2, Thomas Moak, incumbent

Port of Pasco, Pos. 2, Jean Ryckman, incumbent

Port of Kahlotus, Pos. 1, Richard E. Halversen, incumbent

Fire Districts

Benton Fire 1, Pos. 3, Scott Carpenter

Benton Fire 2, Pos. 2, Steve Rouse

Benton Fire 4, Pos. 2, Ralph Russell, incumbent, Garrett Goodwin, challenger

Benton Fire 5, Pos. 2, Wayne Mercer

Benton Fire 6, Pos. 2, No candidate

West Benton Regional Fire Authority, Pos. 1, Max E. Benitz Jr., incumbent

West Benton Regional Fire Authority, Pos. 2, Shane Williams, incumbent

Franklin Fire 1, Pos. 2 and 3, No candidates

Franklin Fire 2, Pos. 3 and 5, No candidates

Franklin Fire 2, Pos. 4, Arthur J. Roach

Franklin Fire 3, Pos. 2, Gary W. Larsen, incumbent

Franklin Fire 4, Pos. 3, No candidate

Franklin Fire 5, Positions 1, 2 and 3, No candidates


Benton County Well Water, Pos. 1, Wayne Mercer

Benton County Well Water, Pos. 2, Randy Mercer

Plymouth Water, Pos. 2, No candidate

Tri-City Estates Water, Pos. 2, No candidate

Basin City Water-Sewer, Pos. 1, No candidate

Kennewick Public Hospital, Pos. 4, Steve Blodgett, incumbent

Kennewick Public Hospital , Pos. 5, Wanda Briggs, incumbent

Kennewick Public Hospital , Pos. 6, Rick Reil, incumbent

Prosser Public Hospital, Pos. 4, Brandon Bowden

Prosser Public Hospital, Pos. 5, Glenn M. Bestebreur, incumbent

Prosser Public Hospital, Pos. 6, Stephen Kenny, incumbent

Franklin Hospital 1, Pos. 2, No candidate

Franklin Cemetery 1, Pos. 1, Connie Smith, incumbent

Franklin Cemetery 2, Pos. 3, Lori Stiner, incumbent

Track Benton County filings at bit.ly/BentonElections2019Candidates and Franklin County filings at bit.ly/FranklinElections201