Four Walla Walla Council seats up for election

The incumbents have indicated they plan to file for re-election.


WALLA WALLA - All four City Council members whose terms expire this year said they will run for re-election, and at least one will have some competition.

Council members Jerry Cummins, Dominick Elia, Fred Mitchell and Mayor Barbara Clark said they plan on filing this week during the five-day registration period.

Pioneer Middle School teacher Christopher Plucker said he will file to run against Mitchell for City Council Position 6.

"Mitchell, he has a fine record of service; there is no real personal reason for running for Seat 6," Plucker said, noting that Mitchell's past career as a firefighter was the only reason he picked to run against him.

"His background is that of a firefighter, and I feel that a firefighter is a public servant. And they are out to serve ... I felt that by running for that position that I could be another option as someone who has a background in public service," Plucker said.

Plucker, 28, currently teaches humanities and digital media.

He has not held a publicly elected office before, but did serve on the city's Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

The Walla Walla City Council operates under a council-manager style of government.

All Council members, including the mayor, hold equal voting authority and generally have no executive powers.

Council members' responsibilities include hiring a city manager, reviewing and creating ordinances, approving local taxes, authorizing contracts and setting budgets, which fund programs such as the Pioneer Park Aviary, the library and various public services.

The registration deadline to run for city council is 4 p.m. Friday.

All filings for public office must be done online at the county's website at at the "File For Office" on the auditor's election page.

A public computer and assistance for filing is available at the Elections Center at 310 W. Poplar St.

Election filing period

The filing period for the Aug. 16 primary is Monday through Friday. Candidates may file in person in the auditor's office in their home county, by mail, or online (in Columbia and Walla Walla counties.)

GARFIELD COUNTY: The Auditor's office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 12 and from 1 to 5 p.m. weekdays. The office is temporarily located in the Pomeroy Elementary School due to renovation of the Courthouse. Intent to run for office can be submitted in person or by mail, but the Auditor must receive mailed submissions by June 10. To learn more visit the Auditor's website at, or call 509-843-1411.

COLUMBIA COUNTY: The Auditor's office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and candidates can file in person during those times. Online filing can be done from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday of the filing period. To learn more visit the Auditor's website at or call 509-382-4541.

WALLA WALLA COUNTY: The Auditor's office is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and candidates can file in person or online during those times. To learn more visit the Auditor's website at or call 525-2530. Positions up for election in 2011 include school board members, City Council members, fire district commissioners, Port district board members, public hospital district board members, and park and recreation district boards. Generally not all members of any board or council are up for re-election in any one year, but this does not hold true if positions have been vacated, then filled by an appointed member. In those cases the current officeholder must file to run for the unexpired term if he or she wishes to retain the seat.



The city of Pomeroy has four of five Council seats open for filing, as well as the mayor's position.

Mayor Alan R. Gould said he was undecided as to whether he would run again. Council members Jim Fuchs, position 4, and G. Paul Miller, position 5, said they would file to run for their positions. Miller is an appointee, and will file for a two-year unexpired term.

Council members Stephanie Newberg and Donna Hunt could not be reached. Newberg is an appointee to Council position 1. If she decides to run she would seek completion of a short term, plus a four-year term. Hunt is the incumbent in position 3, a four-year term.


Two of the three board members whose four-year terms expire at the end of December said they will not file to run again. Bart K. Gingerich, board position 1, said he will file to run.

Lori A Slaybaugh, board position 3, and Steve Carlson, board position 4, said they will not file for another term.


Port of Garfield commissioner Lonny E. Flynn plans to file for another six-year term on the Port Board of Commissioners. He holds position 2.


Neither hospital district board member whose position is up for election plans to file for another six-year term. Jim Maves, position 3, and Patricia Richardson, position 4, said they will not run again.



Two two-year unexpired terms, one short and four-year term, the mayoral position, and two four-year positions are open for filing. Mayor Craig George and Council members Terry Herrin, Jim Cooper and Christine Broughton said they will file for another term.

Bill Graham announced during the Council meeting May 23 he won't file to run for position 1, a two-year unexpired term. Kathleen A. Berg, who is finishing her third four-year term in position 2, said she is undecided whether she will file for a fourth term.

Herrin will file to run for position 4, and Cooper plans to run for position 6, a short and four-year term. Broughton said she will file to complete the unexpired two-year term for position 7.


Incumbent Joe Huether said he will file to run for a two-year unexpired term for Director 4, at large. Steven W. Martin, Director 2, and Marchand Hovrud, Director 3, could not be reached to ask if they plan to run again. Both positions are for four-year terms.


Blaine Bickelhaupt, incumbent inhospital district board position 2, and Jack Otterson, incumbent in position 5, said they will file as candidates for another six-year term.


Lawrence Turner, incumbent Port commissioner in district 2 said he is retiring and will not seek another six-year term.


Four of the five Starbuck City Council positions are up for election, along with the clerk/treasurer position.

Incumbent Clerk/Treasurer Candice Harrison said she will run again for another four-year term.

Fred White, incumbent in position 3, is undecided on filing for a full four-year tern. Ronica McCoy, incumbent in position 4, is undecided on whether to file for a two-year unexpired term.

Keith Wharton said he will file to run for position 1, a two-year unexpired term. Katharine Ruth Shearer will file to run for another four-year term in position 5.


All three incumbents whose positions are up for re-election said they will file to run again for four-year terms. They are Leo C. Janes, director district 1; Jill Wood, director district 2; and Carol Wildman, director district 5 (at large).



Port of Walla Walla District 2 Commission seat is currently occupied by Port Commission President Mike Fredrickson. District 2 represents the eastern third of the city of Walla Walla, plus Dixie, Waitsburg and Prescott. The Port commissioners serve six-year terms. Fredrickson has announced his intent to run for re-election.


Four seats on the College Place City Council will be up for election. These are nonpartisan positions and all terms are for four years. Candidates must pay a $45 filing fee.

The positions and current office holders are: Council Position 4 - R. Scott Duncan; Council Position 5 - Bernard Yanke; Council Position 6 - William Jenkins; Council Position 7 - Larry Dickerson.


All five school board positions are up for election with three of the positions being two-year unexpired terms. P. Javin Berg (position 2, two-year unexpired); Debra Tiner (position 4, four-year term); Richard Berrier, (position 2, two-year unexpired term); and Kelly Dabulskis, (two-year unexpired term) said they plan to file for election. Gene Wilks could not be reached for comment.


Three four-year positions are up for election along with a two-year unexpired term.

Chris Scudder, who holds position 1, could not be reached to ask whether he plans to file for the unexpired term.

Doug Venn, position 3, could not be reached. David R. Base, Sr. said he probably will not file to run again for position 4.

Steven Heimbigner, incumbent in position 5, said he will file to run for the seat again.

Positions 3, 4 and 5 are full four-year terms.


Incumbents in director districts 2, 3 and 4 said they will file to seek four-year terms. They are Pam Stueckle (position 2), Karen S. Tonne (position 3) and Eva Madrigal (position 4).


Incumbent Jerry C. Tonne said he would file to run for another four-year term on the Prescott Parks and Recreation District board. He holds commission position 4. Joan Tatum, who is incumbent for commission position 5, a four-year term, and Ken Buley, commission position 1, a two-year unexpired term, could not be reached.


Darren Z. Goble plans to file to run for another term on the Touchet School board in position 4. Sandra L. Bradley said she will not file for another term in position #5. Both positions are for four years.


Greg H. Zuger plans to file to run for another term in school director position 5. Terry M. Jacoy, school director position 4, and Marilyn Johnson, school director position 1, said they are undecided whether they will run for another term. All terms are for four years.


There are a number of fire district commissioner positions open in all three counties. A full term for these positions is six years. The incumbents were not contacted to ask whether they plan to file for another term.

Positions up for election:

Garfield County FD1, commissioner 3, incumbent Lewis E. Bishop.

Columbia County FD1, commissioner 1, incumbent Harvey Fletcher II. FD2, commissioner 2, four-year unexpired, Scott Johnson. FD2, commissioner 3, incumbent Jim Hickman. FD3, commissioner 2, incumbent Debra Bruegman. FD3, commissioner 3, two-year unexpired, Steve Carlson.

Walla Walla County, FD1 Eureka, commissioner 2, David P. Brock. FD2, Waitsburg, commissioner 1, Gerald Baker. FD2 Waitsburg, commissioner 2, Ricard J. (Jake) Long, four-year unexpired. FD#2, commissioner 3, James (Jim) Leid, two-year unexpired.

- Compiled by Carrie Chicken, Andy Porter and Vicki Hillhouse


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