Several local, state and federal offices to be decided soon
OKANOGAN – While the country tries to decide on the next president in the upcoming general election, there are only 30 days before the county sends out ballots and several state and local races need to be decided a well.
Several deadlines are also fast approaching, including the last day for mail-in voter registrations and updates for the Nov. 2 general election. This deadline is Saturday, Oct. 6, but registrations and updates can be filed online as late as Monday, Oct. 8 (Columbus Day). The last day for in-person registration for voters not currently registered in the state for the general election is Monday, Oct. 29.
While overseas and military ballots are going out next Saturday, Sept. 22, the rest of the voters in Washington State will have their ballots mailed on Friday, Oct. 19.
This November sees races for the two Okanogan County Commissioner positions open to elections. The primary knocked out one incumbent for Position 1, Andy Lampe, leaving Albert Roberts, a Democrat to face Sheilah Kennedy, a Republican. Don R. “Bud” Hoover, the incumbent candidate for Commissioner Position 2, is challenged by fellow Republican Ray L. Campbell. While only voters in each commissioners’ district were allowed to vote in the primary, the general election is opened to all voters in the county.
There are two judicial positions that appear on the general election ballot, although only one will be decided by the voters. Chris Culp, who was appointed to Okanogan County Superior Court Position 2 by Gov. Gregoire last year, will stand for the bench alone on the November ballot. However, Scot D. Stuart is challenging Heidi E. Smith, who was appointed to the District Court bench after Culp was picked to fill the newly created second position on the Superior Court. Hank Rawson was selected to fill Superior Court Position 1 when current longtime justice Jack Burchard steps down after the election.
There is one PUD Commissioner position also on the upcoming election, incumbent Trish Butler is seeking a return in Position 2. She is challenged by Steve Huston in this non-partisan race.
Voters in Tonasket and Okanogan both have ballot issues regarding Sales and Use Tax Levies. Both cities are asking their citizens to approve a 0.1 percent increase in sales and use tax, where at least one-third of that increase is to be used toward criminal justice or fire protection purposes or both starting in April 2013. Oroville voters have a couple issues to decide.
All voters within the Oroville School District are being asked to give the okay to a three-year School Capital Projects Levy which would collect $400,000 in 2013, 2014 and 2015. The money would be used for capital improvements to the elementary school, the majority of which would fund a replacement of the roof which has had ongoing problems for several years. The levy collection rate would be 66 cents per $1000 of assessed property valuation.
The second issue in the Oroville area involves the Emergency Services District. Those living in town and outside in the Rural EMS are being separately asked to vote a replacement to the six-year EMS Levy of 25 cents per $1000 of assessed property valuation for emergency medical care and ambulance services.
Elsewhere in the county, Coulee Area Park and Recreation is asking for a special six-year maintenance and operations levy for its park facilities at 15 cents/$1000.
There are 14 state races Okanogan County voters will also be asked to help decide. Sitting governor Christine Gregoire is stepping aside and Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna are asking for the state’s top spot. Brad Owen (D) and Bill Finkbeiner (R) are seeking the job as Lieutenant Governor and Kim Whyman (R) and Kathleen Drew (D) want to be Secretary of State. For Treasurer, Jim McIntire (D) and Sharron Hanek (R ); for State Auditor, James Watkins (R) and Troy Kelley (D); State Attorney General, Bob Ferguson (D) and Reagan Dunn (R) and Insurance Commissioner, Mike Kreidler (D) and John R. Adams (R). Randy I. Dorn is running unopposed for reelection to the nonpartisan office of Superintendent of Public Schools.
Peter J. Goldmark, a Democrat from Okanogan County, is asking to be reelected as Commissioner of Public Lands (head of the Department of Natural Resources). He faces a challenge from Republican Clint Didlier.
For those living in the Seventh District of the state, which includes most of North Okanogan County, incumbent Joel Kretz faces a challenge from fellow Republican Robert (Bob) Wilson for State Representative in Position 2. Shelly Short, the incumbent Representative in Position 1 is going unchallenged this election cycle. In the 12th District of the state, incumbent Senator Linda Parlette, a Republican will be returned to office in November. Both incumbent 12th District Representatives face challenges from fellow Republicans – Cary Condotta faces Stan Morse for Position 1 and Mike Armstrong faces Brad Hawkins for Position 2.
In addition, to Democratic incumbent U.S. President Barak Obama and Vice President Joe Biden and their challengers Republicans Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, Okanogan County voters get to decide on two other national races – the race for U.S. Senator from Washington and Representative for the Fourth Congressional District. For the Senate race, incumbent Maria Cantwell, a Democrat, faces a challenge from Michael Baumgartner, a Republican. In the House race, incumbent Doc Hastings, a Republican, is challenged by Mary Baechler, a Democrat. Okanogan County voters who used to vote in the Fifth Congressional District, a position currently held by incumbent Cathy McMorris Rodgers, where thrown back into Hasting’s Fourth District after redistricting which was based on population changes revealed in the 2010 U.S. Census.