What if you held an election and nobody ran?

Editorial Gary MugI’m sorry, I just couldn’t get very excited about the recent primary election – what’s that you say there was an election? Yep, and in Okanogan County it’s business as usual as most of our county offices that were up for election didn’t even get contested. And those that did, well the incumbent usually came out on top.

This in now way reflects on how I feel about any of the current candidates, but darn it I at least want a choice between Brand A and Brand B. Our biggest battle was for Okanogan County PUD Commissioner Position 1 – a four way shoot out between David Womack and three upstarts who wanted to unseat him. It looks like he’s in it for the general in November and up against Scott Vejraska, another well known name in county politics. That race at least gave us something to think about.

Of course we also had a three-way fight for the newly created position of Coroner, so there was no incumbent. Chief Criminal Deputy David Rodriguez came out on top and gets to face off against Gary V. Reams. So we can continue to get to know the candidates prior to November and are not just faced with a one-name ticket.

Our friend Scott Furman, the current assessor faced Les V. Stokes in the primary. Furman was top vote-getter – he will face Stokes in the general, something we knew before casting our primary votes. But at least there’s someone out there pushing Scott to do his best to keep his position.

Like the candidate or not, everyone should have someone nipping at their backsides to keep the election interesting.

As we write in the front page election story there were not any surprises for the state legislature either, at least as far as Okanogan County goes. We as a county like our two representatives, Joel Kretz, a local man, and Shelly Short. Brian Dansel in Republic isn’t local, but like Short, might as well be. They each had a challenger which is a good thing – keeps them on their toes. They blew the would-be legislators away in the primary, but anything can happen between now and November.

As far as Jim Detro, Frank Rogers, Charleen Groomes, Laurie Thomas and Leah McCormack at the County Courthouse and Granger Building, wouldn’t you rather have someone trying to fill your positions. Of course you wouldn’t, but it does make for a more interesting race.

However, even when you have someone running against you it doesn’t always guarantee civic duty bliss. We’ve had recent city elections where the challengers seemed to go into hiding as soon as they announced. Many of them didn’t even bother to show up at council meetings to see how things were done. I’m guessing that might not be the case when the next batch of school board members go up for a vote.

Anyway lets hope things heat up for the general election and we get to enjoy the democratic process the way it was meant to be.

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 Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He has a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

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