Winthrop mayor and town council and school board offer voters a choice
By Marcy Stamper
Voters will have a choice in three local elections — for Winthrop mayor, a seat on the Winthrop town council, and a school board director — this November.
Bob DeHart and Sally Ranzau have filed to run for Winthrop mayor.
Anne Acheson, currently serving as Winthrop mayor, is not seeking election to the post, to which she was appointed in August 2016. Acheson is instead hoping to return to the town council (she was a councilmember until being appointed as mayor), where she faces challenger Kirsten Vanderhalf.
On the Methow Valley School Board, Twisp police chief Paul Budrow is challenging incumbent Gary Marchbank for his at-large seat.
All other candidates who filed during last week’s filing week are running unopposed.
In Winthrop, every seat on the town council is on the ballot, either because a term has expired or to fill an unexpired term. Only Ben Nelson, who filled a vacant seat in April, is seeking to stay on the job.
In addition to the contest on the Winthrop council for Position 1 between Acheson and Vanderhalf (the seat currently held by Rick Northcott), Joseph O’Driscoll is running for Position 2 (the seat currently held by Mike Strulic), Ben Nelson is running to complete his two-year unexpired term for Position 3, William Kilby is running for Position 4 (the seat currently held by Kellen Northcott), and Bill McAdow is running to fill the two-year unexpired term for Position 5 (the seat currently held by Bob DeHart, who is running for mayor).
On the Twisp town council, Aaron Studen seeks another four-year term for Position 2, and Alan Caswell is running to fill out the remainder of his unexpired two-year term for Position 3. Because no one filed to run for Twisp Position 1, currently held by Josh Thomson, candidates for that office can file during the special three-day filing period this week.
Dana Stromberger is running for another four-year term as a school board director.
Jerry Palm is running for another term as a commissioner on the board of Okanogan County Fire District 6.
The at-large Position 5 for commissioner for Hospital District #1 (Okanogan-Douglas), being vacated by Tracy Shrable, is also open in the special filing period because Shrable is not running again and no one else filed for candidacy. Incumbent Vicki Orford is running again for the other open spot for the hospital district. Hospital commissioners serve six-year terms.
The third seat up for grabs in the special filing period is for Cemetery District #1 (Sullivan Cemetery), which had been held by Gary Marchbank, who is not seeking reelection to the six-year term. No one had filed for that post as of press time.
Two seats, the Winthrop mayor and Twisp council Position 1, will be described on the ballot as “four-year short and full term.” In those cases, someone was appointed to the position, which would normally have been on the 2017 ballot. The “short term” allows the winner to serve for the approximately six weeks between the time the election is certified and the swearing in in January, according to Mila Jury, election supervisor for Okanogan County.
If no one files during the special filing period, that office will not appear on the ballot. The current officeholder can choose to remain in the post but, if he or she declines, the relevant board — in this case, the Twisp town council, the hospital district and the cemetery district, will appoint a new person. That person would have to run for the office in the next odd-year election, said Jury.
Leanna Melton is running to fill the four-year unexpired term for Cemetery District #1. Leone Edson is seeking reelection to a six-year term as commissioner for Cemetery District #2 (Beaver Creek).
Anyone interested in running for the three seats with no candidates can file online at vote.wa.gov/okanogan or in person at the Okanogan County Auditor’s Office in a special three-day period that ends Thursday (May 25) at 4:30 p.m. For more information, call the Auditor’s Office at (509) 422-7240.
The election is Nov. 7. All newly elected officials take office in January 2018.