Elections

Franklin County voters hand Didier his first win

The Franklin County Courthouse on North Fourth Avenue in Pasco.
The Franklin County Courthouse on North Fourth Avenue in Pasco. Tri-City Herald

The fifth time appears to be the charm for perennial candidate Clint Didier.

The Franklin County farmer, former NFL player and radio talk show host won election to the Franklin County Commission on Tuesday, his first win in five tries.

Didier previously ran for U.S. Senate in 2010, Washington Commissioner of Public Lands in 2012 and the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014 and 2016.

Didier, running as a Republican, defeated Zahra Roach, a first-time candidate and Democrat.

With ballots from 50 percent of the county’s registered voters counted Tuesday, Didier had 9,984 votes to Roach’s 7,256 — or 58 percent to 42 percent.

Dider Roach.jpg
Republican Clint Didier and Democrat Zahra Roach are running for Franklin County Commissioner. File Tri-City Herald

Didier will succeed Rick Miller, who lost his re-election bid in a four-way primary contest in August.

Didier and Roach both campaigned on a platform calling for more transparency in the Franklin County Courthouse, which has been rocked by a series of conflicts this year.

Didier was the more pointed of the two, saying he was motivated to run for local office by disarray in county government.

He cited a long-running embezzlement scandal involving a former public works administrator, a lawsuit against the county’s elected clerk over court records, a controversial land transfer and a looming deadline to bring the Franklin County jail into compliance with a 2016 federal court agreement.

Didier adheres to the Franklin County Republican platform and supports conservative views on marriage and homosexuality. His primary issue was property taxes.

Roach ran as a moderate Democrat offering a fresh, young voice to county government. She is chair of the Pasco Planning Commission.

In the most contentious race of the season, Franklin County Clerk Mike Killian won a decisive victory over Jackie Lopez Giddens, with 9,812 votes to 5,681 votes, or 63 percent to 37 percent.

Giddens Killian.jpg
Challenger Jackie Lopez Giddens and incumbent Michael Killian are running for Franklin County clerk.

The two spent the campaign swapping allegations of misconduct. Lopez Giddens blamed Killian for a lawsuit leveled against him in March by the judges and for an embezzlement case detected in his office.

Killian countered with complaints Lopez Giddens lied about a confidentiality agreement preventing her from explaining the circumstances of her 2012 demotion as a chief deputy in the Benton County Clerk’s Office.

Both are Republicans.

Franklin County Auditor Matt Beaton, a Republican, also won re-election Tuesday.

He was challenged by a former deputy, Democrat Diana Izaguirre, who qualified for the ballot when she won more than 1 percent of the vote as a write-in candidate in the Aug. 7 primary.

Beaton was winning with 10,724 votes to Izaguirre’s 6,408 votes, or 63 percent to 37 percent.

Beaton Izaguirre.jpg
Republican Matt Beaton, left, and Democrat Diana Izaguirre are running for Franklin County Auditor.

Izaguirre worked in the Franklin County Auditor’s office for 25 years before leaving to run elections in San Mateo, Calif. She remained in California for two election cycles, but returned to Pasco for family reasons.

She ran as an insider who knows Franklin County and who would rebuild frayed relations between the auditor’s office and other county elected officials.

Franklin County will update election results Wednesday evening. Voter turnout stood at 50 percent on Tuesday.

Wendy Culverwell: 509-582-1514

#Readlocal

Support local journalism

Local elections are the foundation of our republic; transparency in campaigns, at the ballot boxes and from officeholders is essential. Stay informed with this special deal on a digital subscription.

  Comments