By JESSE BURKHARDT
With this year's election campaign coming on fast, the roster of candidates who will face the voters is now set.
The deadline for anyone interested in running for political offices in the county this year came as of 5 p.m. on Friday, June 10, and many candidates waited until the last possible day to make their intentions known.
As a result, the Klickitat County election ballot will be crammed with a number of races.
In White Salmon, four of the five City Council seats will be up for grabs, while two Bingen City Council positions will be open.
Possibly the most interesting race of all this fall will be for the mayor's slot in White Salmon. Incumbent Mayor David Poucher, who has served for the past four years following his election in 2007, is vying for a second term in the office.
Poucher will be challenged by a current member of the White Salmon City Council, Mark Peppel. Peppel was appointed to serve on the City Council in October 2008, then won election to a full four-year term in the 2009 general election.
The key issue in the mayor's race probably boils down to a simple one: Are voters content with the general direction the city is headed in, or do they want a change?
With four of the five White Salmon City Council seats open this fall, there is bound to be significant change coming to the city. Of the four open seats, three are being contested.
The lineup for City Council races in White Salmon will look like this:
Pos. 1: Incumbent Adrian Bradford will face a challenge from Bill Werst for the right to serve a four-year term on the council;
Pos. 2: Incumbent Bob Landgren will face off against George Rau for a four-year term;
Pos. 3: Jason Sabourin will run unopposed for the right to serve a two-year term in this position;
Pos. 5: Political newcomer Allan Wolf will face another political newcomer, David Kelly, in a bid to take over the City Council seat previously held by Anthony Coulter. Coulter resigned from the council in June, so Kelly and Wolf will be seeking the right to finish out the final two years of Coulter's four-year term.
In a bit of a surprise, incumbent White Salmon City Council member Richard Marx did not file to seek a new term.
With only two of the five Bingen City Council seats on the ballot in 2011, the action will be a lot less hot and heavy for the city of Bingen. However, both council positions are being contested.
In City Council Pos. No. 1, incumbent Guillermo Fisch has decided not to seek a full four-year term. Fisch announced in May that he would not seek to serve on the council after this year. Fisch was appointed to the council to fill a vacancy in February 2010.
No one filed for this race, so this seat will remain vacant until the existing City Council appoints a replacement.
In Bingen City Council Pos. #2, incumbent Clinton Bryan -- who first joined the council in February 2009 -- is seeking a fresh four-year term. No one signed on to compete against Bryan.
There is also action in the Port of Klickitat Board of Commissioners, where two of the three slots on the Port Commission will be on the ballot.
In those positions, two incumbent port commissioners -- Bill Schmitt of Lyle and Wayne Vinyard of Glenwood -- both have signed up to serve new terms. Schmitt is running unopposed for the right to fill the remaining two years of the unexpired term of former Port Commissioner Rodger Ford, who passed away last year.
Vinyard, who first joined the Port of Klickitat Board of Commissioners in January 1994, is seeking a fourth six-year term on the board. He is being challenged by Cheryl Park of White Salmon.
Local school boards around the area also have many positions to be decided. In the White Salmon Valley School District, three positions are open, and five candidates are competing for those three seats.
Incumbent school board member Jeff Cooper is being opposed by Eric Shank in Pos. No. 1; incumbent Tom Stevenson will be facing Dave Karlson for the Pos. 4 seat; and in the third open seat, in Pos. 2, incumbent Deborah Bergstrom will not be facing an opponent.
Also on the ballot this year will be a number of positions with local fire districts and celebratory distichs.
The Klickitat County Auditor's Office will mail ballots out for the primary election in early August. Voters will have a deadline of 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 16, to return them.
The general election will come on Nov. 8 this year.