Ballot fills up for this year’s election

By Karen Larsen
Empire Press Correspondent

The filing period for this fall’s mid-term election ended on May 18. All positions on the ballot have at least one candidate.

In the race for the position of the District No. 4 Representative to the U.S. Congress, Democrat Christine Brown is challenging incumbent Dan Newhouse. Brown is a former Tri-Cities news anchor. Newhouse has served the district since 2015.

In the race for District No. 8 Representative, 12 candidates have come forward to contend for the position in which Congressman Dave Reichert now serves. Reichert, who has served in the position since 2005, announced last fall that he would not run for reelection. The district includes the Eastern portions of King and Pierce Counties as well as Chelan and Kittitas Counties. East Wenatchee is a part of the district.

The contenders include Democrats Shannon Hader, Jason Rittereiser, Tom Cramer and Kim Schrier. Republican contenders include Dino Rossi, Gordon Allen Pross and Jack Hughes-Hageman. Richard Travis Reyes of the Libertarian party is also running. Todd Mahaffey, Patrick Dillon and Keith Arnold are running without a party affiliation. Bill Grassie states a preference for the Independent Centrist Party.

Four candidates came forward to contend for the State Legislative District Pos. 1, which Cary Condotta has held since 2002. Condotta announced at the beginning of the month that he would not run for reelection. Contenders include Republicans Keith Goehner and JD Greening. C. Keiki Stacy Weigle is running as a Democrat. Ann Diamond is running without a party preference.

Goehner has served as Chelan County Commissioner for District 2 since 2002. He is also a third-generation orchardist and has served on numerous boards. If elected, Goehner will work toward providing adequate funds for entities to provide required services. He hopes to encourage business investment, manage natural resources and prevent the erosion of private property rights while ensuring responsible use of property.

Greening of Waterville is a Navy Veteran who served multiple deployments oversees. He has earned his bachelor’s from Eastern Washington University, with a major in Political Science and a minor in Sociology. He has served as a legislative assistant for the House of Representatives in Olympia and as a Military Congressional Fellow for the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer in the U.S. House of Representatives. Greening is currently earning his Masters in Public Administration from Eastern Washington University and serves on the EWU Alumni Board of Directors.

Diamond is a Winthrop physician and the founder of The Country Clinic, now Confluence Health Methow Valley, in that town. If elected she hopes to work to strengthen economic health, improve access to universal and affordable medical care, and to protect public lands. Diamond serves on the Winthrop Planning Commission and is on the Board of the Washington Academy of Family Physicians as an Eastside Trustee.

Weigle lives in Okanogan and has worked as a part-time consultant since 2004. Before that she spent 35 years working in the high-tech industry. Weigle said that she was motivated to run by her son, who is a senior at Omak High School. He loves his home in Okanogan County, but is worried that he might not find a job here after he graduates from WSU. Weigle wants to work for job creation, education and health care.

For position 2, Mike Steele, who is finishing his first term, faces two contenders: Democrat Valerie Sarratt and Alan Fahnestock, who states no party preference.

Previous to being elected as State Representative, Steele served as Executive Director of the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the Chelan City Council. His website sites economic vitality, sustainable job growth and career and technical education as the foundations of his legislative work.

Sarratt, who has 17 years experience as a public school teacher, is a resident of Twisp. If elected she hopes to strengthen public schools, provide affordable health care for all, legislate fair immigration policies and revitalize local economies.

Fahnestock is a resident of Winthrop. He retired early several years ago from a position as the vice-president of a telecommunications infrastructure firm. Since then he has done some consulting and a good deal of volunteer work. For example, he serves as a volunteer fire fighter. Fahnestock hopes to work for solid wages for working people and affordable health care and education. He wants to call attention to the need to address substance addiction, natural disaster response and infrastructure.

In Douglas County government, the positions of Assessor, Auditor, Clerk and Treasurer are all up for election. Incumbents Jim Ruud, Thad Duvall and Tristan Worthen are running unopposed for the positions of Assessor, Auditor and Clerk, respectively. Natalie Marx is running unopposed for the position of Treasurer.

Nona Haberman, who currently serves in the position, did not run for reelection. Haberman, who served for two terms, said that she felt it was time for her to retire.

Marx has worked in the Treasurer’s Office since 2005 and currently serves as the Chief Deputy Treasurer. She said that if elected she will work on giving the public easier access to records. For example, she plans to make more records available online.

County Commissioner Steve Jenkins, who serves District 3, did not choose to run for reelection. Marc Straub of Orondo and Norman (Buck) Tupling of Mansfield, are running for the position. Both men are Republicans.

Straub currently works as the CEO of Building NCW. He has served on the County Planning Commission since 2017 and on the Greater Wenatchee Public Facilities District Board since 2017. Straub and his wife Juli own a small orchard south of the Beebe Bridge in Orondo.

Norman Tupling is a fourth generation wheat farmer from the Mansfield area. Previous to that he served as a lineman for the Douglas County PUD and as a truck driver and warehouseman for Central Washington Grain Growers. He is the current president of the Mansfield Sportsman Club and a board member of the Chelan/Douglas Farm Bureau.

Gordon Edgar is running unopposed for the position of Douglas County Prosecuting Attorney. Steve Clem, who served seven terms in the position, did not choose to run for reelection. Edgar has served as Deputy Prosecutor for the past 23 years.

Douglas County Undersheriff Kevin Morris is running to replace Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal, who is not seeking reelection. East Wenatchee Police officer Leeon Leyde is also running for the position.

Eric Biggar and Robert Hunter are running for the position of District Court Judge. Judge Judith McCauley served in the position for the past 23 years and announced her retirement this year. Biggar was selected by the County Commissioners to fill the vacancy until after the election. Biggar has been serving in the position since May 1.

Robert Hunter is a lawyer specializing in litigation, insurance and business law. He is the owner of the Hunter Law Firm in East Wenatchee.

Incumbent Ron Skagen is running unopposed for PUD Commissioner No. 1.

All partisan races will appear on the Primary Election ballot Aug. 7, with ballots mailed on July 20. General Election Day is Nov. 6 with ballots mailed out on Oct. 19.