Rosie Rumsey, Franklin County's director of human resources, is vying for Franklin County District 1 Commissioner Brad Peck's seat.
"My reason is to bring trust, responsibility and positive change," she said to a small gathering of family and friends at Pasco's Volunteer Park, across the street from the Franklin County Courthouse.
Rumsey said the board of commissioners failed to follow up in 2009 on information about the alleged theft by a public works manager, Dennis Huston, which is why she believes the incumbent should be replaced.
"(He) failed to act responsibly," Rumsey said, noting that the county lost $411,148 in the years following because of the inaction.
"I'm campaigning in part to ensure that this kind of theft doesn't happen again," she said.
Rumsey became the county human resources director in 2005 after having been deputy finance director in Prosser for nine years until 1998, then director of finance for the city of Wapato for seven years.
Rumsey, who lives in the doughnut hole area of west Pasco, said she would like to be annexed into the city, but believes the 4,000 residents of the unincorporated area should "have a voice" in deciding that issue.
She said expanding the jail is necessary, and she would carefully watch the construction costs to make sure the public's money was used wisely.
Rumsey also favors seeing an aquatic center built at TRAC, but only if it does not require a tax increase.
"I am not willing to raise any taxes," she vowed.
With Franklin County rated as the fifth-fastest growing county in the nation, Rumsey said it is important to see the relationship between the county and city improved.
"It has deteriorated," she said.
Rumsey said her background in finance and human resources makes her a strong candidate for county commissioner.
A native of Prosser who was raised in a farm worker family, Rumsey and her husband were married 38 years before he died in 2010 from cancer. She has three grown children and seven grandchildren.
She has attended professional training courses at Columbia Basin College, Yakima Valley College and Seattle University, earning credentials as a licensed insurance agent, certified municipal clerk and professional finance officer.
A member of the Pasco Chamber of Commerce, Rumsey was 2011 chamber member of the year.