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Some seats go unclaimed in local races for public offices


A few races for local public office will be contested in this year’s primaries, but the real issue is the number of offices for which nobody filed a candidacy.

A special three-day filing period has been set up, May 23-25, for those who would like to file for offices currently slated to remain empty.

Okanogan County announced a special three-day extended filing period May 23-25 until 4 p.m. They can file online, but filers must still appear in person at the auditor’s office by 4:30 that day, which is also the deadline to pay any fees.

The top two vote getters in races will advance to the general election.

In Coulee Dam, two have filed for the mayor position being vacated by Greg Wilder. Councilmember Gayle Swagerty is giving up her seat for a run for mayor. Opposing her will be Larry Price, a newcomer to Coulee Dam politics.

For Position 1 on the council, incumbent David Schmidt will be challenged by Fred Netzel. For Position 2, former councilmember Bob Poch has filed. Nobody has filed for Position 3, a seat held by Duane Johnson.

In Elmer City, Mayor Gail Morin filed; councilmembers Joaquin Marchand and Clara Carson both filed. To date, no one has filed for Position 2, held by Larry Holford.

Incumbent commissioners Jerry Kennedy and Geary Oliver have each filed for six-year terms in Douglas, Grant, Lincoln, Okanogan Counties Hospital District 6.

In Nespelem, D’arcy Epperson filed to retain his seat on the town council. No one has filed for mayor or council Position 3.

Anna Vargas filed for Position 1, a two-year term, on the Nespelem School board, along with Jolene Marchand, who filed for the Position 3 seat, a four-year term; Mitzi Adolph has filed for Position 4 and Nancy Armstrong-Montes for Position 5.

In Grand Coulee Dam School District, board member Carla Marconi will be challenged by Tammy James-Pino. Ken Stanger has refiled, as has George LaPlace. Incumbent Richard Black has filed and will be challenged by Kathy N. Steffens.

In Okanogan Fire District 2, no one has filed for either positions 1 or 3.

The Coulee Area Park & Recreation District drew a blank, with four positions open. Commissioners Carla Marconi, Debbie Bigelow, Clarice Kuehne and Brett Black did not file.

In Grant County Port District 7, Leonard Sanders III has filed for Position 3, a six-year term. Current Commissioner Jerry Sands did not file for the position.

Gary Rosco has filed for his Grant County Fire District 14 Position 2 seat, a six-year term.

In Electric City, Aaron Derr has filed for city council Position 1, a four-year term. No one has filed for a seat held by Jeremy Miller, Position 4.

In Grand Coulee, all three incumbents have filed, all for four-year terms: Tammara Byers for Position 1; Tom Poplaski, Position 2; and Mike Horne, Position 4.

Those who would like to file for open positions can do so through Thursday and online.

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