This year's political campaign season is almost upon us, and local elected officials will have to decide soon whether to run for another term in public office.
The deadline for filing declarations of candidacy for the fall elections comes later this month, and the positions of many local representatives will be on the ballot.
This year, there is a long list of open positions in city government and other jurisdictions.
Leading the list is the open position for the mayor of Bingen. Two-term incumbent Brian Prigel, who wants to spend more time working on his business, Prigel Machine & Fabrication, has said he does not plan to run for a third four-year term.
As of July 5, no one has yet publicly expressed interest in running for the mayor's office.
In addition to the mayor's race, the entire membership of the Bingen City Council will face contests this fall. Normally the elections are staggered, but due to resignations and appointments, all five seats will be going to the voters in 2005.
The current incumbents on the City Council are: Position 1, Betty Barnes; Position 2, Barbara Kubitscheck; Position 3, Laura A. Mann; Position 4, Randy Anderson; and Position 5, Terry Trantow.
Positions 1 and 2 will be on the ballot to fill a two-year unexpired term, while the other three seats will be for full four-year terms.
In White Salmon, three of the five City Council positions will be open this fall. Position 3 is currently held by Susan Benedict; Position 4 is held by Susan Gookin; and Position 5 is held by Penny L. White Morris. All three of these seats are up for new four-year terms.
In another key local political jurisdiction, two positions on the three-member Port of Klickitat Board of Commissioners will be decided by voters. Position 1, now held by Norman L. Deo, will be on the ballot to decide a four-year unexpired term. Position 3, currently held by Wayne Vinyard, is also open, with a six-year term at stake.
Many school board positions will be on the 2005 election ballot. In White Salmon's School District No. 405, two of the school board's five seats are open this year. The two that will be contested are now held by Dan Rawding (Position 3) and Kristie Leigh Hurn (Position 5).
School board races will also be decided in Trout Lake, where three seats are open; in Glenwood, with two seats open; in Klickitat, with three open positions; and in Lyle, where three slots will appear on the ballot.
Other area races that will be on the ballot include Position 5 on the Skyline Hospital Board of Commissioners, which is now held by R. Howard Kreps.
Many fire district slots around Klickitat County, as well as cemetery district and recreation district positions, will also be decided.
Candidates can file by mail beginning on July 11. Declarations will be accepted at the Klickitat County Auditor's Office in person from July 25-29. During that week, those interested in running for office can file in person at the County Courthouse, 205 S. Columbus, in Goldendale. The last opportunity to file at the Auditor's Office will be at 5 p.m. on Friday, July 29.