Most candidates face clear sailing

Candidates challenge incumbents for hospital commissioner, Oroville mayor and council

Chuck Spieth

Mayor Spieth

NORTH COUNTY – Before last Friday’s final day to file for office it looked like Oroville might have a new mayor in Chris Allen, but incumbent Charles “Chuck” Spieth, who has a habit of waiting until the last day to file, stepped up and made it a horse race.

Allen, has been vocal at several city council meetings, even hinting at legal action after he was not appointed to the ambulance crew by the mayor after completing EMT training. Mayor Spieth said he was acting on the recommendation of Ambulance Coordinator Debra Donoghue, who taught the course and certified Allen. The city council backed up the mayor and Donoghue in two separate votes.

Spieth is not the only one who is in a race for his position in Oroville’s government. Russell W. Rounds has filed for Council Position 1, against incumbent Jon R. Neal and Paul E. Brochard has filed for Council Position 2 against incumbent Anthony “Tony” Koepke. The mayor and council positions all have four-year terms.

Incumbents on the North Valley Hospital Board also find themselves facing challengers. Rosa Snider, a vocal critic of the closing of the Assisted Living facility is going up against longtime hospital commissioner Dick Larson for Position 1. Teresa Hughes is also seeking the Position 5 seat of Lael Duncan and will meet in the November election. Both positions are for six-year terms.

In Tonasket it looks like clear sailing for the four incumbents looking for a return to city government positions. Mayor Patrick Plumb, Position 1 Councilman Dennis Brown, Position 3 Councilwoman Jill Vugteveen and Position 4 Councilwoman Jean E. Ramsey will all be returned to office. Claire Jeffko is running for Council Position 5, which marks a return of the Jeffko name to the council as her late husband Ed was a councilman for a number of years. However, the seats are changing somewhat with Brown and Vugteveen running for four year terms and Ramsey and Jeffko running for two-year unexpired terms.

For Oroville School Board Todd Hill wants a return to Director Position 1 for the two-year unexpired term and Travis Loudon for Director Position 4 for a full four-year term. No one filed for the seat vacated by David Nutt who moved from the area.

Two members who have served on the Tonasket School Board for several years have filed for four-year terms – Lloyd E. Caton Jr. for Director Position 1 and Ernesto Cerrillo for Director Position 4.

In the Seventh District Legislature, recently appointed Senator John Smith of Colville has two challengers for a one-year unexpired term. Fellow Republicans Mike Brunson of Springdale and Brian Dansel of Republic also want the office.

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are the Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He is single with a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

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