Check out who’s running for political office in the Mid-Columbia

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Here are some things to consider if you're interested in filing for public office in Washington state.

City council races in Tri-Cities are starting to fill up with candidates as election filing week arrives in the state.

Two spots on the Kennewick City Council and one each in Richland and West Richland have drawn at least two candidates, giving voters a choice when they head to the polls for the Aug. 6 primary.

In the Mid-Columbia, more than 100 nonpartisan posts are up for grabs.

Here’s a look at how some of the political races are shaping up, with the caveat that more candidates could emerge by Friday’s deadline to file with the county auditor.

Kennewick City Council

Incumbent Councilman Chuck Torelli is being challenged by Chariss Warner for Position 5, an at-large post representing the entire city.

Torelli is a retired Hanford worker and former city planning commissioner who was appointed to the position vacated when Matt Boehnke was elected to the Legislature.

Warner is ministries director at the Union Gospel Mission.

Like Torelli, she was one of a record 31 people who applied to succeed Boehnke. She was one of the leading contenders but lost on a split council vote to Torelli.

In Position 7, the at-large seat held by Steve Young, drew two candidates, including Lindy Verhei, who ran unsuccessfully in 2016 and later applied for Boehnke’s seat.

Radona “Liz” Deveraux, who has advocated for Kennewick to consider becoming a Second Amendment Sanctuary, is running for the post as well.

Young has said he was considering seeking re-election but had not filed Monday afternoon.

Richland City Council

Veteran Councilman Phil Lemley drew a challenger in Mike Luzzo for his at-large Position 5 seat.

Lemley is a retired Hanford engineer known for his tireless work representing the city on civic boards. He pushed the city to embrace inclusiveness and later launched a one-man campaign to draft Richland native Jim Mattis, former Secretary of Defense, to run for president.

Luzzo is the older brother of former Richland City Councilwoman Dori Luzzo Gilmour. He ran for council in 2016 but lost in the primary in the race for the seat now held by Ryan Lukson.

Luzzo is interested in zoning, fair taxation and enticing business to fill vacancies in Richland’s downtown core. He wants to explore a bridge from north Richland to Pasco and relieving congestion on Highway 240.

West Richland City Council

West Richland, incumbent Ken Stoker has a challenger in Kate Moran, who announced she would run in 2019 as soon as she lost her prior bid, for his Position 7 seat.

Here is a list of the candidates who have filed for election in Benton and Franklin counties as of Monday. Check back for updates throughout the week.

City Councils

Kennewick, Position 5, Chuck Torelli, incument, Chariss Warner, challenger.

Kennewick, Position 6, Brad Beauchamp.

Kennewick, Position 7, Lindy Verhei, Radona “Liz” Deveraux

Richland, Position 1, Kalen Finn

Richland, Position 2, Brad Anderson

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

Richland, Position 6, Terry Christensen

Pasco, Position 2, Ruben Alvarado

Pasco, Position 5, David Milne

Pasco, Position 7, Zahra Roach

Benton City Mayor, Linda Lehman, incumbent, David Sandretto, incumbent councilman (Position 3)

Prosser Mayor, Randy Taylor

Prosser, Position 6, Steven Becken

West Richland, Position 6, Fred Brink

West Richland, Position 7, Ken Stoker, Kate Moran

Connell, Position 5, Ray H. Minor

Connell, Position 6, Jesse Mandler

Kahlotus, Position 5, James C. Hagans

Kahlotus, Position 6, Shirley Ayers

School Boards

Kennewick, Position 4, James Langford

Kennewick, Position 5, Patrick “Pat” Mastaler, Diane Sundvik

Pasco, Position 1, Scott Lehrman

Pasco, Position 2, Steven Castellano

Richland, Position 3, Rick Donahoe

Richland, Position 4, Jay Clough

Richland, Position 5, Jill M. Oldson

North Franklin, Position 1, Patricia “Patti” Walker

North Franklin, Position 2, Terry A. Utecht

Kiona-Benton City, Position 4, Dale Thornton


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

Port of Kennewick, District 2, Thomas Moak

Port of Pasco, District 2, Jean Ryckman

Port of Kahlotus, District 1, Richard E. Halversen

Fire Districts

Franklin County Fire District 3, Position 2, Gary W. Larsen

Benton County Fire District 1, Position 3, Scott Carpenter

Benton County Fire District 5, Position 2, Wayne Mercer


Benton County Well Water District, Position 1, Wayne Mercer

Kennewick Public Hospital District, Position 5, Wanda Briggs

Prosser Public Hospital District, Position 5, Glenn M. Bestebreur

Track Benton County filings at bit.ly/BentonElections2019Candidates and Franklin County filings at bit.ly/FranklinElections2019Candidates

Wendy Culverwell writes about local government and politics, focusing on how those decisions affect your life. She also covers key business and economic development changes that shape our community. Her restaurant column and health inspection reports are reader favorites. She’s been a news reporter in Washington and Oregon for 25 years.