Candidate filings start Monday

Walla Walla, Columbia and Garfield counties' process will be entirely online this year.

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WALLA WALLA -- The 2010 election season officially opens Monday with the beginning of filing week.

Throughout Washington state, hundreds of candidates are expected to launch their campaigns. Among the key federal races this year in eastern Washington are the U.S. Senate office held by Patty Murray and the seat held by U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers. In the state Legislature, all 98 of the state House positions are up for election, including the District 16 seats held by state Reps. Maureen Walsh and Terry Nealey.

A new twist this year in Walla Walla, Columbia and Garfield counties will be online candidate filing. Candidates running for local offices can file by going to the county auditor's Web site starting at 9 a.m. Monday. Candidates seeking state or federal office can file on-line by going to the Secretary of State's Web site.

As in previous years, candidates can also file at the county elections or auditor's office. The Walla Walla County Elections Office is at 310 W. Poplar St. and its hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Columbia County Auditor's Office is in the county courthouse at 341 E. Main St. in Dayton and its hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Garfield County Auditor's Office is temporarily located at 1215 10th St., in Pomeroy and its office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The office is closed from noon to 1 p.m.

Filing fees for offices with annual salaries of $1,000 or more are 1 percent of the salary amount and filing fees are non-refundable. There is no fee for people filing to run for precinct committee officer.

Candidates may withdraw, in writing, through June 17.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318. Check out his blog at blogs.ublabs.org/randomthoughts.

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