Local candidates throw hats in ring for offices

Only one race hasmore than two candidates. There will be a primary election for county commissioner Disrict 2 seat between Frank Brown, Chris Blackman and Perry Dozier.

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WALLA WALLA - One of the milestones for election year 2012 was passed Friday.

Filing week wrapped up with candidates declaring their intentions to run for national, state and local offices. Primary elections for races with three or more candidates will take place Aug. 7 while the general election will be Nov. 6.

At the state level, three seats will be up for election in Legislative District 16, which consists of Walla Walla and Columbia counties along with portions of Benton and Franklin counties.

In the state Senate race, incumbent Mike Hewitt will be running against challenger Scott Nettles. Both have stated they prefer the Republican Party.

The state Representative, position 1 race will be between challenger Mary Ruth Edwards and incumbent Maureen Walsh. Both also have stated they prefer the Republican Party.

The only uncontested race at the close of filing Friday was for the state Representative position 2 seat held by incumbent Terry Nealey. As with the other races, he also stated his preference was for the Republican Party.

In Walla Walla County, the two county commissioner seats up for election finished with five candidates filing.

Candidates for the District 1 seat will be Jim Johnson and Mark Spinks. The seat was vacated last month by the resignation of Commissioner Gregg Loney.

Because Loney's term was due to end this year, the winner of the race will immediately take office when the November election is certified. That person will then serve the unfinished portion of Loney's term and a full four-year term.

Johnson was chosen earlier this month by the remaining two commissioners to hold the seat until the November election, and Spinks was one of three finalists, along with Johnson, forwarded to commissioners by the county Republican Party central committee to be considered for the appointment.

Candidates for the District 2 seat will be Frank Brown, Chris Blackman and Perry Dozier.

Dozier, the incumbent, is seeking his second term on the board while Blackman is seeking her first term in office, and Brown is the former county coroner. The winner of the election will serve a full four-year term.

Johnson, Spinks, Blackman and Dozier have declared preference for the Republican Party. Due to technical problems Saturday with the county's Auditor's website, Brown's party preference was not available.

The two remaining Walla Walla County races are for Superior Court judgeships. The races are nonpartisan.

In the Superior Court Position 1 race, the incumbent candidate, John Lorhmann, was the only one to file by the deadline Friday.

In the Superior Court Position 2 race, the candidates will be local attorneys Richard G. Wernett and Scott Wolfram. Both are seeking to replace Superior Court Judge Donald W. Schacht, who has announced he will step down when his term expires at the end of this year.

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