Richland voters returning 4 incumbents

Richland voters were returning four incumbents to the city council Tuesday, delivering a message that they support the city’s current direction.

Four of seven city council posts were up for election this year. The city’s charter ensures a majority of the council is on the ballot every other year by awarding the person who wins with the fewest votes a two-year term instead of a four-year one.

All city council seats are elected from the city at large.

Position 1

Mayor Bob Thompson was leading Lillian “Randy” Slovic with 3,917 votes to 3,529 votes, or 52 percent to 49 percent.

Thompson campaigned on his 23-year record and understanding of municipal government while Slovic ran an aggressive door-knocking campaign that promised to give residents more of a voice in city politics.

Position 2

Incumbent Brad Anderson was leading challenger Shir Regev with 4,236 votes to 3,101 or 58 percent to 42 percent.

Regev had promised to push Richland to embrace district-based council districts to diversify representation on the council. Anderson said he supports the idea and will promote it.

Position 5

Incumbent Phillip Lemley was leading challenger Lisa Thomas with 4,842 votes to 2,617 or 65 percent to 35 percent.

Lemley is a retired Bechtel engineer who joined the council shortly after his 2010 retirement.

He campaigned on his long record of service to the city and nonprofits who working to overcome his highly public pledge to quit the council when he wasn’t selected mayor in 2017.

Thomas is a registered nurse and first-time candidate for office.

Position 6

Incumbent Terry Christensen was leading challenger Kyle Palmer with 4,240 votes to 3,020 votes or 58 percent to 41 percent.

Christensen was first elected in 2011 and is the city’s current mayor pro tem, serving as honorary mayor when Bob Thompson is unavailable.

Palmer is a real estate agent and president of Windermere Group One as well as a member of Richland’s planning commission.

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.