County races begin to take shape

Two seats will not have incumbents running for re-election.

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WALLA WALLA - Although the official filing period is still months away, some races for Walla Walla County seats are already taking shape.

All but four county offices are up for election in November. The exceptions will be the county commission seats held by Gregg Loney and Perry Dozier and the Superior Court seats held by Judge Donald Schacht and Judge John Knowlton.

Two seats that will not have incumbents running will be for county sheriff and county assessor. Sheriff Mike Humphreys announced he is retiring after 13 years in office and Assessor Bill Vollendorff said he is stepping down after six years in office.

In the sheriff's race, Walla Walla County Sheriff's Capt. Bill White and county resident John Turner have both announced they will seek the position. Both said they will run as a "prefers Republican Party" candidate.

In the assessor's race, Debra Antes, who is the assessor's office chief appraiser and statistical analyst, said she will seek the post. Antes had campaigned for the assessor's seat in 2004 on the Republican ticket, but lost in the primary to Vollendorff.

The remaining county offices up for election are commission District 3, treasurer, auditor, clerk, coroner and prosecuting attorney.

County Commissioner Greg Tompkins said Friday he intends to seek re-election to the District 3 seat. Tompkins was elected in 2002 after Commissioner Chuck Maiden retired. He was re-elected in 2006.

County Treasurer Gordon Heimbigner, Auditor Karen Martin, Clerk Kathy Martin and Prosecuting Attorney Jim Nagle have said they intend to seek re-election.

County Coroner Frank Brown said Friday he has not yet decided.

The official filing period for candidates will be the week of June 7-11. A primary election for races with more than two candidates will be held Aug. 17, and the general election will be held Nov. 2.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318.

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