- OROVILLE – Several candidates for local Okanogan County office were welcomed to the Thursday, Oct 11 meeting of the Oroville Chamber of Commerce to say why they were seeking office.
Scot Stuart – Candidate for District Court Judge
- Scot Stuart, candidate for District Court Judge, told the chamber he had provided public defender services for the county for 25 years. He then was Lead District Court Deputy and then Chief Criminal Court Deputy in Stevens County for six years. In 2011 he returned to Okanogan County.
- “I’ve been the only one in a defendant’s corner and I’ve been there with the victims and their families,” said Stuart, about his 30 years in the Criminal Justice System. “I’ve appeared in courts throughout the state, even in the old Oroville Court and Tonasket and Omak Municipal Courts.”
- “I’ve been involved in trying everything from traffic to murder trials
- Stuart has been married for 28 years and has three adult daughters.
- While his daughters were growing up he spent much of his time volunteering with youth activities, including 4H and served as a softball coach.
Heidi Smith – Candidate for District Court Judge
- Heidi Smith is the incumbent candidate for District Court Judge. She was appointed to the position when Chris Culp was selected to fill the county’s newly created second Superior Court Position. Smith’s grandparents homesteaded in the Molson area and she is related to the Appel and Colbert families she said. She attended school in Tonasket and went to college in California, then went to Gonzaga Law School.
- “This is a part time job yet I have little extra time between District Court and raising two little ones,” said Smith, who formerly served as the county’s Chief Civil Deputy.
- “As such I was also county coroner… I spent many nights out with Mr. Berg and Mr. Miller,” she said. “Then when I got pregnant six years ago I went into private practice. I also did a lot of pro bono work for non-profits.”
- She adds that when she applied for the District Court position last year she went through a rigorous selection process.
Sheila Kennedy – Candidate for Commissioner Position 1
- Sheilah Kennedy, who wasn’t at the chamber meeting, is running as the Republican candidate for Commissioner Position 1.
- Although she didn’t attend, there were several of her pamphlets available. Kennedy served as the County Weed Board manager for 15 years. While manager she said she held the state and federal government accountable for “lack of management on our public lands.” She also said she secured an unprecedented $300,000 noxious weed funding level for the Okanogan National Forest.
- Kennedy also worked for Seventh District Rep. Joel Kretz in Olympia and Eastern Washington until starting her own small business. She now owns and sells portable noxious weed wash systems.
- “I will hold our state, federal and county government accountable and responsible to taxpayers; Stand firm when policies being approved have negative impacts on our livelihood and our way of life; (and) Create an open door policy open communication with the people of Okanogan County,” she writes.
Albert Roberts – Candidate for Commissioner Position 1
- Albert Roberts is running for Okanogan County Commissioner Position 1. He lives in Omak but grew up on a cattle ranch in North Dakota,
- “I ended up in the Okanogan in the spring of 1986… I’ve been a mechanic, an equipment operator and a Tribal logger. Now I do heavy equipment repair.”
- Roberts, a Democrat, says his experiences have demonstrated he has served the community. Among that experience is 22 years with the Okanogan County Planning Department and 11 years as an Okanogan Conservation District Supervisor. He has also served on the Washington Association of Conservation Districts and with the Ag and Rural Conference.
- He served four years in the U.S. Navy and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Forestry and Range Management, He owns and operates a diversified farm with cattle, range, hay and timber. He is also the founder and chairman of Slow Food Okanogan.
- “I have a good ability to listen… my job As commissioner will be to listen, be efficient and get the job done.”
Bud Hover – Candidate for Commissioner Position 2
- Don “Bud” Hover, a Republican, is the incumbent candidate for Okanogan County Commissioner Position 2.
- He lives in the Methow and has been married 38 years and has two sons. He is a former football player with the NFL and CFL and in the mid-1980s was a contractor for the Army and Navy. He says he has been farming for 37 years.
- “In the late 1990s the National Marine Fisheries shut the water off for a couple of years in the Methow. For me that was a turning point.”
- Hover said he worked within the process to get the water flowing to farms and ranches again. As commissioner he said he supported the Heavy Haul Corridor which helped to bring 62 jobs to Oroville. He said he also worked to get the VA Clinic at Tonasket to help keep North Valley Hospital in business.
- He points to his experience with finances, budgets, risk management and land use issues as reasons people should give him another term.
Ray Campbell – Candidate for Commissioner Position 2
- Ray Campbell is also a Republican candidate for Okanogan County Commissioner Position 2.
- Born in Brewster he lives in the Methow and has a small ranch. He worked construction at Grand Coulee Dam at age 19 and followed the construction trade for several years, He has owned and operated a real estate business since the early 1990s.
- Campbell says he has been very active in county politics, serving on the Board of Adjustment since the 1990s.
- He said the federal government is attacking the county, using “strong arm tactics…running up costs and running farmers out of business.”
- Campbell says the draft County Comprehensive was a failed plan and until the Farm Bureau, Cattleman’s Association and most major grass roots organizations stepped in and helped to redraft it, it was unworkable.
- He said he was also bothered by state agencies like Fish and Wildlife buying up county land and taking it out of the tax base.