When the buzzer sounded at 5 p.m. last Friday -- signaling the end of the candidate filing period for 2009's political offices -- it became clear that this year's campaign season is likely to be much more interesting than it appeared it would be earlier in the filing week.
There wasn't exactly a rush of interest, but when the deadline came, most of the political offices that will be on the ballot this fall found willing candidates.
As a result, who will serve in dozens of positions -- from state representative to cemetery district commissioners -- will be decided by voters in the primary election and general election voting later this year.
Multiple seats on the Bingen City Council and the White Salmon City Council will appear on the ballot this year, and who will serve as Bingen's mayor will also be determined. Also, a seat on the Port of Klickitat Board of Commissioners will be at stake in this year's voting.
An especially intriguing race will be the one to decide who will serve as state representative in Legislative District 15, one of the few partisan positions on the 2009 ballot.
The incumbent state representative is David Taylor, a Moxee Republican who was appointed to the seat earlier this year. Taylor is asking voters to allow him to serve in Olympia for one more year.
Two Democratic Party candidates have filed to challenge Taylor -- White Salmon resident John Gotts, who alienated some of his fellow Democrats in 2008 by endorsing the Republican candidate for Klickitat County Commissioner over the Democratic Party's candidate; and Donicio Marichalar, a Democrat who lives in Grandview.
The 15th District covers all of Klickitat County, all of Skamania County, and parts of Clark County and Yakima County.
In the Bingen's mayoral race, only one candidate filed for the position: Betty J. Barnes, who is currently a member of the Bingen City Council. As she is running unopposed, Barnes is virtually certain to take over the mayor's chair from three-term incumbent Brian Prigel, who decided against seeking another four-year term.
In addition to the mayor's position, four of the five seats on the Bingen City Council will also be going before the voters.
However, none of the four candidates will be facing opponents. The only change will be in Bingen's Position 5, where council member Terry Trantow opted not to seek another term. Catherine Kiewit was the only candidate who filed to serve in Trantow's council seat.
In White Salmon's City Council races, meanwhile, three of the council's five seats will be on the ballot, and two of those races are being contested.
In one contested White Salmon City Council race, Position 4, incumbent Mark Peppel will face off against challenger Darlene R. Johnson; in the other council race, newcomers Anthony Coulter and Troy R. Wamsley will compete for a seat. The Position 5 incumbent, Brad Roberts, is not seeking a second term.
Leana Johnson faces no opposition in the Position 3 race.
There is a contest in Fire District No. 3 (Husum), with incumbent Fiore Commissioner Charles Virts being challenged by Jim Hulbert.
Over to the east in Lyle's Fire District No. 4, Kris Joy is challenging incumbent Fire Commissioner Don Brashers.
Lyle voters will also decide a school board race. In Position 4, Victor Rodriguez is challenging incumbent Lyle School Board member Kathy Ginnett.
In the White Salmon Valley School District, two incumbents -- Kris O. Kreps of White Salmon and Paul H. Mosbrucker of Underwood are both running unopposed for their respective new terms on the school board.
Here is the lineup for key contested positions that will appear on upcoming election ballots:
WHITE SALMON CITY COUNCIL
Position 3, Leana Johnson, unopposed (incumbent);
Position 4, Mark Peppel, unopposed (incumbent) vs. Darlene R. Johnson;
Position 5, Anthony Coulter vs. Troy R. Wamsley (seat currently held by Brad Roberts, who decided not to seek a second term).
BINGEN CITY COUNCIL
Position 2, Clinton Bryan, unopposed (incumbent);
Position 3, Laura Mann, unopposed (incumbent);
Position 4, Sandra Dickey, unopposed (incumbent); and
Position 5, Catherine Kiewit, unopposed (seat currently held by Terry Trantow, who decided against seeking another term).
BINGEN MAYOR'S OFFICE
Mayor: Betty J. Barnes, unopposed (position currently held by Brian Prigel, who is not running for a fourth term).
PORT OF KLICKITAT
Position 1: Jim Herman vs. Carl E. McNew for the right to serve a six-year term. The incumbent, Norm Deo, decided not to seek another term.
In addition to these offices, there are dozens of fire district, cemetery district, hospital district, and school district races all around the county -- with most of them unopposed.
This year, the primary election falls on ----, with the general election set for ----. Klickitat County is an entirely "vote-by-mail" county.
According to the Klickitat County Auditor's Office, no declarations of candidacy have been filed for several positions around the county, as follows:
Glenwood School Board Positions 3, 4, and 5; Bickleton Fire District Position 3; Dallesport Fire District Position 1; Roosevelt Fire District Position 2; Prosser Fire District Positions 1, 2, and 3; Appleton Fire District Positions 1 and 3; Cemetery District 2, Positions 1 and 2; Cemetery District 4 Positions 1, 2, and 3; and Hospital District 2 Position 1.
A special three day filing period is scheduled for these specific offices on June 22, 23, and 24. Persons interested in filing for one of these offices may do so by submitting a declaration of candidacy in the Auditors Office at 205 S. Columbus Ave. Room 203, Goldendale,from 9 a.m. on June 22 through 5 p.m. on June 24. For more information, call (800) 583-8050 or (509) 773-4001.