Thursday, September 24, 2020
Sept. 24, 2020

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Candidates urged to navigate filing week safely online

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:

Campaign signs may have started cropping up months ago, and fundraising events even earlier than that. But the 2020 election will formally kick off in earnest Monday, when candidates can start filing to appear on the Aug. 6 primary election ballot.

Filing week at the Clark County Auditor’s Office begins at 9 a.m. Monday and lasts until 5 p.m. Friday. Unlike in years past, candidates are strongly encouraged to file their campaign declaration online at clark.wa.gov/elections instead of in person — safe social distancing protocol during the COVID-19 outbreak still applies at the county elections office, according to a press release from Auditor Greg Kimsey.

Candidates who still wish to file in person can do so at the Clark County Elections Department, 1408 Franklin St.

“Physical distancing requirements will be adhered to, with a limited number of candidates allowed at a time,” the press release states.

The fee ranges from free to $2,107, depending on the office sought. Credit cards aren’t accepted when filing in person.

Offices are up for election at the federal, state, county and precinct levels. Presidential candidates won’t appear on the ballot until the general election in November, as Washington’s presidential primary took place in March.

Congressional race

Barring surprise candidates, the primary election for Washington’s 3rd Congressional District is a formality. Only two candidates are left in the race, and both names will be familiar to anyone who cast a vote in 2018.

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, is seeking a sixth term. Her challenger, Democrat Carolyn Long, will try for the second time to defeat Herrera Beutler in November. Long, a political science professor at Washington State University Vancouver, showed the congresswoman the closest challenge of her career in 2018 but ultimately lost by 5 percentage points.

Frequent candidate Martin Hash still has an active “Hash for Congress” Facebook page, but has not filed any paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission or made a public declaration of his candidacy.

Two other candidates — Democrat Peter Khalil and Democrat-to-Republican Rudy Atencio — have dropped out.

State offices

Statewide offices up for re-election this year include the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, attorney general, public lands commissioner, superintendent and insurance commissioner.

Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, is seeking a third term. He’s facing primary challenges from two other Democrats, as well as six Republicans, one independent and one third-party candidate.

Among the Republicans, polls show the front-runner so far is Tim Eyman. Eyman spent the last two decades sponsoring various anti-tax initiatives, most recently Initiative 976, which capped car tab fees statewide.

The race for lieutenant governor is open — incumbent Cyrus Habib is choosing to enter the priesthood. Among the six candidates seeking the office is Denny Heck, a Vancouver native who now represents the Olympia area in Congress as a Democrat.

Two Republicans and two Democrats have so far announced a challenge to Attorney General Bob Ferguson, a Democrat, on the primary ballot.

Just two candidates have declared a campaign for secretary of state: incumbent Republican Kim Wyman and state Rep. Gael Tarleton, D-Seattle. The same is true of the treasurer’s seat, where incumbent Republican Duane Davidson will look to fend off a sole challenger, state Rep. Mike Pellicciotti, D-Federal Way. Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, a Democrat, so far has one declared challenger in Libertarian Anthony Welti.

Chris Reykdal, the superintendent of public instruction since 2017, is so far unopposed, as is Hilary Franz, the state commissioner of public lands and Auditor Pat McCarthy. Four state supreme court justices are also up for re-election this year. No challengers have announced their candidacies.

Legislative races

Clark County lawmakers representing their districts in the state Senate and House of Representatives are also up for re-election this year.

In the 17th Legislative District, representing east Vancouver and central Clark County, Republican Sen. Lynda Wilson is up for re-election. So are Representatives Vicki Kraft and Paul Harris, also both Republicans. Daniel Smith, a Democrat, has declared his intent to challenge for Wilson’s seat. Kraft’s second-time opponent is Tanisha Harris, a Democrat narrowly lost in 2018. Harris thus far has no announced opponents.

In the 18th Legislative District, covering north and east Clark County, Republican Sen. Ann Rivers is also so far unopposed. Republican Reps. Brandon Vick and Larry Hoff are seeking re-election. Hoff is being challenged by Democrat Donna Sinclair, a member of the Washougal school board. No one has announced plans to challenge Vick.

The 49th Legislative District, covering west Vancouver, is represented by three Democrats: Sen. Annette Cleveland and Reps. Sharon Wylie and Monica Stonier. Rey Reynolds, a Republican, is challenging Cleveland. Park Llafet, also a Republican, will run against Wylie.

The easternmost slice of Clark County, covered by the 14th Legislative District, is represented by Republican Representatives Chris Corry and Gina Mosbrucker, both so far unopposed. The district’s senator, Republican Curtis King, is being challenged by Democrat Reesha Cosby. The northernmost tip of the county, in the 20th Legislative District, will see Republican state Rep. Richard DeBolt retire this year, with fellow Republican Rep. Ed Orcutt seeking reelection. Republican candidates Brian Lange and Centralia Mayor Pro Tem Peter Abbarno are among those vying for DeBolt’s seat. So far 20th District Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia, is unopposed.

County races

Two seats are up for re-election on the Clark County Council. Gary Medvigy, a Republican who represents District 4, has declared a re-election campaign. He’s being challenged by Matt Little, a Fern Prairie resident running as an independent.

Republican John Blom is up for re-election in District 3. So far nobody — including Blom — has filed with the state’s Public Disclosure Commission declaring an intent to run for the seat, though Blom said Friday he plans to run.

Clark County is additionally seeking 15 people to serve on its Charter Review Commission, all currently vacant positions. So far only four people have declared their intent to run for those seats with the PDC: Battle Ground City Councilor Mike Dalesandro, former Clark County Treasurer Doug Lasher, Clark County Democrats board member Steve Perkel, and Michael Martin.

Democrats and Republicans alike are looking for precinct committee officers for each of 314 party precincts in Clark County. There is no filing fee for those positions.

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