Next fall's elections should be interesting

Candidates with agendas looking to unseat incumbents

OKANOGAN COUNTY – It looks like next fall’s election is shaping up to be an interesting one as several local offices have incumbents facing challengers.

For Oroville area voters the most stacked race is for Oroville School District, with two candidates looking to push out incumbent Rocky DeVon, including a former school board chairman and former Oroville High School teacher. Phil Barker, who served in DeVon’s current spot, wants a second chance on the board in Director Position 5. Saying people did not like his “John Wayne style” of governance, Barker resigned his board position without serving the full four-year term at the end of May 2012. Ryan Frazier, a social studies teacher, did not have his contract renewed last year after a bad evaluation by Superintendent Steve Quick. After some heated public meetings, including protesters outside the board room, the directors voted to not reverse the superintendent’s decision and Frazier was let go. There is also a three way race for Director Position 2, which is a two-yar unexpired term. Seeking the seat held by the longest serving member of the board are Patricia Maher, Kolo Moser and Becky Lewis. Wise did not file to run for the office again. The other two positions, that of Director Positions 1 and 4 will only have the names of the incumbents, Todd C. Hill and Mike Egerton, respectively. Position 1 is for a full four-year term, while Position 4 is for a two-year unexpired term.

In Tonasket, Catherine Stangland and Jerry Asmussen are asking a return to the Tonasket School Board in Director Positions 2 and 5, both four-year terms. In Director Position 3, another former school board member, as well as a retiring Tonasket teacher, Joyce Fancher, wants to unseat current incumbent Ty Olson for a four-year term.

The Oroville City Council is guaranteed to see some changes as Ed Naillon, who has had some recurring health problems, has decided to not run for Position 3 on the council. Robert Fuchs and David “Mac” McElheren are have thrown their hats in the race for the position. Incumbent Neysa Roley faces a challenge from Chris Allen for Council Position 5. Allen, who tried to displace Oroville Mayor Chuck Spieth in the last election, has been vocal about the way the city has been running the ambulance service, especially after former ambulance coordinator Debra Donohue refused to put him on the Oroville crew. All three offices are for four-year terms.

While Claire Jeffko’s seat at the table seems secure, as the incumbent will run unopposed for Tonasket Council Position 5. Also running unopposed are Jensen Sackman for Position 2, currently held by Scott Olsen and Maria Moreno for Council Position 4, which is currently Lois Rice’s seat. All are four-year terms.

Herbert Wandler will find himself back on the board for Hospital District 4. The current North Valley Hospital District Commissioner is running unopposed for another six-year term in Position 3.

Candidates for other offices include: Gary Nelson, Cemetery District 4 (Riverview, Oroville); Kenneth D. Ripley, Commissioner Position 3 for Fire District 1 (Oroville, Rural); Duane Van Woert and Jack Denison, for Commissioner Positions 2 and 3 respectively, for Fire District 4 (Tonasket area) Mark Robanske for Position 3, for Fire District 12 ( Swanson Mill); Michael Woelke and Robert K. Bauer, for Commissioner Positions 2 and 3 respectively, for Fire District 16 (Aeneas Valley) and Guy D. Fisher, Leland “Lee” Chapman and Mike Cantwell, for Commisioner Positions 1, 2 and 3, respectively for the Lake Osoyoos Water District.

Election officials have opened up a special three-day filing period for offices where no one has put their name on the ballot. This filing period, May 20-22 is for all offices that no one filed for during the regular filing week, according to Mila Jury, election official with the Okanogan County Auditor’s Office. For a full list of which offices these are see the Auditor’s Website at