KID board to welcome 3 newcomers

The Kennewick Irrigation District has three new faces on its five-member board.

The newly elected directors, who will take office at the Jan. 13 board meeting, are Patrick McGuire for position 2, David McKenzie for position 3 and Gene Huffman for position 4. They will join John Pringle and John Jaksch, who is board president.

The KID board canvassed and certified election results Monday morning during a special meeting.

-- McGuire received 1,816 votes to overcome James Diecker’s 318 votes. There was no incumbent because the seat was vacant.

It was McGuire’s first attempt to be elected to a public board. He and his wife own 45 acres in Badger Canyon and Benton City. They moved to Benton County in 2000. McGuire is retired from the Navy where he worked with nuclear power systems.

-- McKenzie’s 1,517 votes easily defeated position 3’s 25-year incumbent, William C. Kinsel, who received 477 votes, and James E. Wade, who got 167 votes.

McKenzie has about 150 acres in Finley. He grew up in the Tri-Cities and attended Columbia Basin College, then worked many years for a John Deere dealership before purchasing it.

-- Gene Huffman won position 5 with 901 votes. George Romano had 719 votes, while incumbent Dale Walter, who had been appointed last January, received 319 votes and Mitchell Marrott had 79 votes.

Huffman has previously served on school boards in Milton-Freewater and is retired after working for Boise Cascade Container Division. Although he owns four residential lots in Kennewick, Huffman said he understands and leans toward the needs of rural customers.

There were 6,312 votes cast in the Dec. 9 election, which had only one polling place, at the KID office, 12 W. Kennewick Ave. There were 1,475 absentee ballot votes, with another 4,837 votes cast at the KID office on election day.

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