Thurston County Offices on November’s Ballot

For this election, “local candidates” include offices in the County government, District Court, and the Thurston Public Utility District.

As I have noted in the prior pieces of this series, a good starting place to familiarize yourself with the candidates is the online voter’s guide. This is an online version of the paper one you probably received a week or two ago. The online version, however, includes links to campaign web sites and campaign financing details.

Among the offices within County government there are only three positions where there is a contest between two candidates. The race for Commissioner of the Public Utility District also has two candidates. For the other five non-judicial positions, the incumbent is running unopposed for reelection. Let’s focus our attention first on the races that involve actual contests between two candidates. These are the Auditor, County Commissioner (District 3), Prosecutor, and Commissioner of the Public Utility District.

County Auditor

The incumbent is Mary Hall, a Democrat. Hall was first elected Auditor in 2013 and she is running for re-election.  

The challenger is Stuart Holmes, an Independent. 

It may be worthwhile to take a pause here and point out there are no candidates running for the County’s partisan positions who describe themselves as Republicans. The easiest way to determine the political leanings of any candidate is probably to look at who’s contributed directly to the candidate’s campaign. This won’t easily answer questions about non-campaign spending – that spending made by interest groups working for or against specific issues of candidates – but a visit to the state’s Political Disclosure Commission’s website can be enlightening. In the online voter’s guide, too, there are links to “Who donated to this candidate’s campaign?” that provide the same details.

County Commissioner

The Griffin area is within District 3 and this seat is our district’s commissioner. We choose, in the primary, what candidates are promoted to the General Election. But, in the General Election, all voters in the County will be eligible to vote for the Commissioner.

Bud Blake, Independent, was elected to the seat in November 2014 and he is running for re-election.

Tye Menser, Democrat, is running to unseat Blake.

Both candidates have extensive lists of endorsements and additional information on their campaign websites. By clicking on any candidate’s name here, you will be taken to that candidate’s website.

County Prosecutor

Jon Tunheim, a Democrat and Steamboat Peninsula resident, is looking to retain his seat for another 4-year term.

Victor M. Minjares, also a Democrat, is the challenger.

Public Utility District

Linda L. Oosterman is running for reelection, for a 6-year term.

Andrew Saturn is running against the incumbent.

Commissioners on the Public Utility District run in non-partisan races. In the Griffin area, we’re outside the PUD’s existing water systems and elections to this three-member board seem to rarely stir much interest here. But if you spend a little time online, you will find the campaigns from these two candidates has generated some excitement.

The Other Races. . .

. . . are for candidates running for re-election, with no opposing candidates. There are five non-judicial candidates running unopposed for re-election.

Running for re-election as County Assessor is Democrat Steven Drew.

Linda Enlow, a Democrat, is seeking to retain her seat as County Clerk.

Gary Warnock, Democrat, is running for re-election as County Coroner. His website is here but, frankly, it does not look as though it’s been updated in the last three years.

John Snaza is up for re-election as County Sheriff. He runs as an Independent. I could not find an official campaign website for the well-known Sheriff.

Jeff Gadman, Democrat, is running for re-election as County Treasurer.

In our District Court, there are three judges seeking to retain their seats. I will add those positions to a later installment in this series, where I will discuss Judicial Candidates.

See Endorsements by The Olympian

The Olympian’s Editorial Board is accumulating its endorsements as we get into the election season. You can see those here and there are more being added, from time to time.

Ballots have Now Been Mailed

Ballots are now arriving and you may have already received yours. If you have not, you can check your registration status here. If you find you are not registered or your address is not correct, there is still time for you to make a correction and receive a ballot. But you must do that, in-person, at the Thurston County Elections Department. Click here for their contact information.

If your ballot is complete, you can mail it in. No postage is required! Yours must have a postmark of no later than November 6, to be accepted. You can save the government some money by dropping your completed ballot into a local ballot drop box. One is located in front of the Griffin Fire Department Headquarters. Click here for locations of other ballot drop boxes in Thurston County. Drop boxes are open until 8 PM on Election Day, Tuesday, November 6.

Posted in 2018 Midterm, Elections.