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A guide on how to become a candidate in the state:
Useful information, from a list of open offices to where to file:
Depending on the number of political fliers that have filled your mailbox — perhaps U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler's asking whether the Affordable Care Act is really working or Rep. Liz Pike's touting the formation of the Bi-State Bridge Coalition — it is understandable to assume that election season is well underway.
But today marks the beginning of filing week, where those interested in being a state lawmaker, county precinct officer or, maybe, the county assessor, must officially file by Friday.
Herrera Beutler, along with all the state representatives in our region — the 49th, 18th and 17th legislative districts — are up for re-election. In Clark County alone, there are 32 open seats, along with 247 precinct committee officer openings for both the Republican and Democratic parties.
In the county, there are several positions in play, including the District 3 seat on the Clark County Board of Commissioners.
In addition to the commission seat, the county will hold elections for sheriff, auditor, clerk, prosecutor and assessor. By far, the sheriff's race has generated the most candidate interest. There are four announced candidates — John Graser, Chuck Atkins, Shane Gardner and Ed Owens — vying for the position that Sheriff Garry Lucas has held for the past 24 years.
For the contested county commissioner race, Democrat Craig Pridemore and Republican Jeanne Stewart have announced their intent to run. Pridemore is also an appointment candidate for the position, which has been vacant since former Commissioner Steve Stuart resigned in April. Commissioners David Madore and Tom Mielke are expected to make an appointment on May 27.
Republican candidate Michael Delavar has announced he will run against Herrera Beutler for the Republican nomination for the 3rd Congressional District. Bob Dingethal announced he's running as a Democrat for the seat.
So far, all the legislative incumbents have announced they will seek re-election and all but Rep. Paul Harris, R-Vancouver, has drawn a challenger.
The filing fees are 1 percent of the annual salary for the position. To file for the seat currently held by Herrera Beutler, it's $1,740; for a legislative seat, it's $421.06; for the Supreme Court, it's $1,675.05, according to information from the secretary of state's office.
The primary is Aug. 5 and the general election is Nov. 4.
And if you tend to think your vote doesn't matter, think again. In 2012, Republican state Sen. Don Benton won his bid for re-election by 74 votes.
Cathie Garber, the elections supervisor for Clark County, supervised the process as each vote was recounted manually.
"It shows how every vote counts, absolutely," she said.
Garber noted voter pamphlets are sent to every household, whether the resident is a registered voter or not. For those new to the state, who aren't registered in any county, the deadline to register is July 28, and registration needs to happen in person after July 7. For those already registered, who need to update their address, they have until July 7.
Statewide, there are 10 U.S. House races; the entire state House and half of the state Senate seats are up for election.
"It all starts here, with filing week an important kickoff moment for candidates," State Elections Director Lori Augino said in a news release. "We are already hard at work on putting together some excellent voter education materials, including print and online voters' guides."