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  • Wes Cormier

Grays Harbor Election Filings

County Government In your local county government you have a variety of elected officials. Including, two District Court Judges, three Superior Court Judges, a County Clerk, County Auditor, Assessor, Treasurer, Coroner, Prosecutor, Sheriff and three County Commissioners. The four (4) noteworthy contested races in Grays Harbor this year include, the County Sheriff, County Coroner, County Commissioner and County Assessor races.

Grays Harbor County Sheriff Let me introduce to you the candidates for Grays Harbor County Sheriff, Mr. Darrin Wallace and Mr. Michael Catlett. Their backgrounds and experience is vast and impressive. This will be a fun race to follow and report on. I firmly believe that competition is better for consumers, just as, competitive political races are good for their respective community. This exercise in competition will be an opportunity for the public to ask these law enforcement candidates how they feel on a wide range of topics. Topics like needle exchanges, homelessness, hiring deputies, budgets, beliefs, federal overreach, increasing crime rates, and the new laws of Washington State that are making enforcing laws against criminals far more difficult. You will NOT be disappointed with these two candidates. They have a lot to offer and I feel fortunate to have these two individuals willing to continue to serve us at this capacity. More on these candidates later.

County Coroner

Why do we elect a County Coroner? The structure of county government is as old as the English Magna Carta (year 1215) and most don't understand why counties have quite a few elected positions and such a separation of powers. Here is an example. In the rare circumstance a Sheriff becomes a bad actor, who investigates him or her? In comes the elected County Coroner. The County Coroner is an elected official that can assume the role and responsibilities of a County Sheriff. Currently, the two candidates for County Coroner include Democratic candidate Bob Kegel and (No Party Preference) candidate George Kelley. More on these candidates later.

County Commissioner The three-way race for the County Commissioner District #3 spot includes Republican candidate Lisa Zaborac, (No Party Preference) JR Streifel, and (No Party Preference) Vickie Raines. This will be an exciting race to watch as these three candidates have strong backgrounds and varying beliefs on government spending and taxation. They likely have different views on the role of county government in our lives. What has become more common in recent years is the failure of the local Democratic Party to turn out quality candidates for County Commissioner. In 2012, the first Republican majority on the Commission had been won since the mid 1930's. Now, it has been a decade since a single Democratic candidate has won a seat on the County Commission. The last Democratic seat on the Commission was won by the alleged sign thief, Frank Gordon. County Assessor The most interesting filing came by way of the County Assessor's Office. Former Assessor Rick Hole is facing off against the current Assessor, Dan Lindgren for a third time.

This face off started more than a decade ago when Rick Hole won as a "neither party" candidate against Dan Lindgren (Democrat) in the 2010 General Election. Four years later, Democrat, Dan Lindgren -

would win the seat and hold it for two terms (8 years).

There was some controversy during the 2014 election year with regard to the appraisal system that was being considered then and what is currently being used.

Now that the dust has settled, it will be interesting to reflect and see what perspectives will be offered as both will have the opportunity to talk about what they did as Assessor and what changes, if any they will bring to the table. Follow the Grays Harbor Weekly as we interview candidates for the upcoming Primary.


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