Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

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By Victoria Fowler
Gazette Reporter 

County candidate filing positions

Art Swannack

Art Swannack

COLFAX – On Monday, May 11, at 9 a.m. candidate filing for Washington state opened. For those interested in filing for candidacy, the deadline is Friday, May 15, at 4 p.m.

In Whitman County, offices open for election are County Commissioner District One and District Two, Superior Court Judge and Precinct Officers.

The Primary Election will be held on Aug. 4 for these positions.

All three incumbents will be running for reelection Monday. They are Judge Gary Libey and Commissioners Art Swannack and Dean Kinzer.

County Commissioner District One, Art Swannack, 55, filed for reelection. He said he enjoys the job and that there are still a few things he would like to get done in the county, such as have a Veteran Service Officer specifically to help assist veterans.

"I think we got a good team going here and I would like to continue with this team," Swannack said.

County Commissioner District Two Dean Kinzer, 66, said he believes the county has an excellent team of elected officials and would like to continue to serve as a county commissioner.

"We have improved many county functions for our citizens and I would like to continue being a part of the team that makes more improvements," Kinzer said.

Superior Court Judge Gary Libey, 68, is seeking his second term. Libey said he is running again to fulfill his civic duty and responsibility to Whitman County.

"I was in private practice for 41 years and I decided to make the change to take the opportunity to give back to my community," Libey said.

Initial requirements to file for candidacy include being a registered voter in the district in which the candidate is filing, as well as being able to pay the filing fee if required, provide a valid email address and have all necessary forms submitted by or before the deadline.

For positions that receive a payment, such as Superior Court Judge and County Commissioner, a filing fee is required to file for candidacy. The filing fee is one percent of the annual salary of the position.

Superior Court Judges are elected for a four-year term and require a $1,909.85 filing fee. The annual salary for a Superior Court Judge in Washington is $190,985.

The term for Superior Court Judge begins on the second Monday in January following their election.

To serve as a Superior Court Judge in the state, the candidate must be admitted to practice law in Washington and under the age of 75.

County Commissioners are elected on a four-year term and require a $744.30 filing fee. The annual salary for a Whitman County Commissioner is $74,430.

Commissioners serve as the chief administrators to many different county operations. Primary duties include levy taxes to operate the county and adopt a balanced budget for each calendar year.

Precinct Officers are voted into office during the primary election in even-numbered election years to serve a two-year term. If a candidate filed to run for Precinct Officer and is the only one to file in May they are automatically elected. Once elected, Precinct Officers will take office Dec. 1 of the elected year.

Dean Kinzer

Dean Kinzer

For anyone interested in filing by mail, a candidate filing form must be filled out. They can only pay with either cash or check and a filing fee petition must be submitted. All forms need to be in by Friday, May 15, at 5 p.m. Checks can be made out to Whitman County Auditor and mailed to Whitman County Elections PO Box 191 Colfax, WA, 99111. Anyone is interested in filing and needs assistance, they can call the Auditor's Office, 509-397-6270.

Candidates interested in filing online can go to sos.wa.gov/elections.candidates/online-candidate- filing.

Gary LibeyArt SwannackDean Kinzer


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