The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Ken Graham
The Times 

All Walla Walla County Election Slots Unopposed Except Sheriff

Columbia County will see three competitive races: Commissioner, Sheriff and Treasurer


WAITSBURG – Three candidates have filed in Walla Walla County to replace outgoing Sheriff, John Turner, who is not running for reelection. The Sheriff position was the only county-wide race to receive more than one candidate filing during the week-long filing period that ended Friday.

Former deputy Tom Cooper, who ran against Turner in 2014, has filed to run again this year. He will face Whitman College director of security Matthew Stroe and recently appointed Undersheriff Mark Crider. All three filed as Republicans.

Cooper is currently a project manager with the Walla Walla County Corrections Dept. Crider is a former FBI agent who took his current position in early March.

Republican County Commissioner Jim Duncan, who is completing his first term, will be unopposed in his bid for reelection.

In Columbia County, the Sheriff’s race will also feature three candidates. Deputies Jeff Jenkins and Joe Helm will face former deputy Don Foley. All three are running as Republicans.

For the County Commissioner position being vacated by Merle Jackson, Republican Chuck Amerein will face Democrat Dain Nysoe. Nysoe ran unsuccessfully against Jackson in 2014. Amerein ran twice unsuccessfully against former commissioner Chuck Reeves, in 2006 and 2010.

Carla Rowe, who runs a Dayton bookkeeping business, will run for Columbia County Treasurer as a Republican against Cathy Shochet, who filed with no party preference. Shochet is currently deputy treasurer for the county.

First-time candidates Dale Slack, running for Prosecutor, and Anne Higgins, for Auditor, will run unopposed. Current Prosecutor Rea Culwell, and current Auditor, Sharon Richter, have both announced their retirement from those positions.

In Legislative District 16, both state representative positions will feature competitive races. For Position 1, first-term Republican incumbent Bill Jenkin, of Prosser, will face a challenge from Democrat Everett Maroon, of Walla Walla.

Three candidates have filed to replace Representative Terry Nealey, of Dayton, who is retiring this year after nine years in the House. Republicans Skyler Rude, of Walla Walla, and Dan Mildon, of Kennewick, will face Rebecca Francik, of Pasco. Both Rude and Francik ran unsuccessfully in 2016 for the position won by Jenkin.

Following is a complete list of local candidates:

Walla Walla County (all four-year terms)

Assessor – Debra Antes, Republican

Auditor – Karen Martin, Republican

Clerk – Kathy Martin, Republican

Commissioner, Dist. 3 – Jim Duncan, Republican

Coroner – Richard Greenwood, Republican

Prosecuting Attorney – James L. Nagle, Republican

Sheriff – Tom Cooper, Republican; Matthew Stroe, Republican; Mark Crider, Republican

Treasurer – Gordon R. Heimbigner, Republican

District Court Judge – Full Time (non-partisan) – Kritian E. Hedine

District Court Judge – Part Time (non-partisan) – John Knowlton

Columbia County (all four-year terms)

Assessor – Chris Mills, Republican

Auditor – Anne Higgins, Republican

Clerk – Susan J. Marinella, Republican

Commissioner, Dist. 3 – Charles L. Amerein, Republican; Dain C. Nysoe, Democrat

Prosecuting Attorney – C. Dale Slack, no party preference

Sheriff – Jeff Jenkins, Republican; Joe Helm, Republican; Don Foley, Republican

Treasurer – Carla Rowe, Republican; Cathy Shochet, no party preference

Legislative District 16 (two-year terms)

State Rep. 1 – William “Bill” Jenkin, Republican; Everett Maroon, Democrat

State Rep. 2 – Skyler Rude, Republican; Rebecca Francik, Democrat; Dan Mildon, Republican


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