OKANOGAN – Last week’s candidate filing period has drawn several contenders for county, state and federal offices – while a few positions remain open.
In Okanogan County there were no surprises in the race to fill outgoing Okanogan County Commissioner Mary Lou Peterson’s spot in Position 3. Becki Andrist from Riverside and Jim Detro from Crumbacher, just south of Tonasket, voiced their intentions to seek the soon-to-be-open place on the county board well before the filing period, which was June 4 to 11. Both listed their party affiliation as “prefer Republican Party.” This, like the other county offices are for four-year terms.
Democrat Cindy Gagne from Omak and Republicans Rae Jean Kelley and Charlene Groomes, both from Okanogan, are vying for county clerk in the only three-way competition for county office. Frank Rogers from Okanogan, the incumbent county sheriff, has a challenger this go around. Fellow Republican Dave Yarnell, from Omak, has thrown his hat in the ring for the top county law enforcement officer. Treasurer Leah McCormack, a Democrat from Omak, is being challenged by Republican Pam Wyllson, from Okanogan.
Incumbents in the office of assessor, auditor and prosecuting attorney did not see challengers file during filing week. So far, Scott Furman (D), Laurie Thomson (R) and Karl Sloan (D), respectively, will be on the ballot alone. Fuhrman and Thomson are from Okanogan and Sloan is from Riverside.
In the non-partisan election for Okanogan County District Court Judge, Chris Culp is seeking reelection to Position 1. For Position 2, which is being vacated by longtime judge, Dave Edwards, there are two candidates, Rick Webber and Hank Rawson. All three judge candidates are from Okanogan.
Ernie Bolz from Tonasket, is seeking another six-year term as Okanogan County PUD Commissioner in Position 3. This is also non-partisan race.
State Legislative District 7 includes Ferry, Pend Oreille, Stevens and parts of Okanogan, Lincoln and Spokane counties. Long-time Senator, Bob Morton, a Republican from Kettle Falls, will face Barbara Mowrey, a Democrat from Chewelah for a four-year term. Incumbent Representatives Shelly Short and Joel Kretz are seeking a return to office in Positions 1 and 2, respectively. The two Republicans, Kretz, from Wauconda and Short, from Addy, don’t have challengers to the office, which has a two-year term.
State Legislative District 12 includes Chelan, Douglas and parts of Okanogan and Grant counties. Incumbent Cary Condotta from Wenatchee is asking voters to reelect him to another two-year term as Representative in Position 1. Republican incumbent Mike Armstrong from Wenatchee will face fellow Republican Cliff Courtney, from Chelan, in Representative Position 2. Both positions are for two-year terms.
For U.S. Senate, incumbent Patty Murray, a Democrat, faces no fewer than 14 other candidates for the office, which has a six-year term and is voted on statewide. Okanogan County voters are among those that elect the U.S. Representative from Congressional District 5. Incumbent Cathy McMorris, a Republican, wants a return for another two year-term. She faces five others who wish to take her place in the U.S. House of Representatives.