The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

By Brandon Cline
Managing Editor 

Ritzville mayoral race to be contested, more local filing period updates


Last updated 5/23/2019 at 9:33am

Filing week across the state of Washington wrapped up last Friday, and residents in eastern Adams County should prepare to see more of the same, familiar faces for the near future.

But that doesn’t mean there won’t be any drama on the ballot come November, as Ritzville’s mayoral race will be contested for the first time since 2011.

Incumbent mayor Gary Cook, who has served in the position since 2015, filed to run for a second term on May 16. He’ll be running against David Ahrens, the owner of Ritzville Lumber & Hardware who has also served as President of the Ritzville Area Chamber of Commerce. Ahrens filed to run on May 17, a day after Cook filed.

On the Ritzville City Council, all four incumbents whose seats were up for election filed to run for another term. Dede Rawlings and Dennis Chamberlain both filed to run for four-year terms of their respective wards, while Mark Weigand filed to run again for the council’s two-year at-large seat. Debbie Chapman, who was appointed to her seat last year following the previous incumbent’s resignation, filed to run to serve out the rest of the term’s length until 2021.

Other than the Ritzville mayoral race, no other races in eastern Adams County seem to be contested. On the Lind Town Council, both Myra Horton and James Dworshak filed to run for re-election. Like Chapman, Horton was appointed to her seat and is running to serve out the rest of the term’s length until 2021.

On the Ritzville School Board, both Reid Phillips and Greg Galbreath are running for re-election. The same can be said for the Lind School Board, as incumbents Jani Melcher and Joshua Hernandez both filed to run again. Melcher is the chair of the Lind School Board.

Jerry Crossler of the Hospital District No. 2 Board of Commissioners is also running for another six-year term, and is the only commissioner whose seat is up for election in 2019.

There were 94 offices open for election across Adams County this year, with at least one person filing to run for 78 of those offices. Offices where no candidate filed to run included the Washtucna Mayor position, a seat on the Washtucna Town Council, two seats on the Washtucna School Board, a seat on the Lind Park and Recreation District No. 3, and two seats on the Washtucna Park and Recreation District No. 2.

The primary election will be held on August 6, although there are no races in eastern Adams County where a primary election is necessary due to there being fewer than three candidates in every race. The general election will be held on November 5.


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