Friday afternoon was a busy day at the Yakima County Courthouse, as candidates from throughout the Yakima Valley made the decision to run for office. In the Lower Valley, 15 candidates on Friday filed for election to offices from Granger to Grandview.
Last Friday, the filing period ended with 49 candidates filing to seek election to school boards, city councils and port commissions throughout the Lower Valley. There are 33 Lower Valley positions that will be on the ballot this fall.
In Sunnyside, five candidates filed Friday afternoon for election to three city council positions.
Bruce Epps, Ignacio Joe Resendez and Mike Farmer all filed to fill Sunnyside City Council position two, which is currently held by Farmer.
Farmer said he decided to file for re-election because he enjoys the work and would like to play a part in the upcoming project to beautify both the east and west entrances into Sunnyside.
Farmer added that he is also hoping to continue to strengthen property owner's rights in Sunnyside.
Filing for re-election to Sunnyside City Council position three was Bruce Ricks. Ricks said he decided to run for re-election because he feels like there are some good things going on in Sunnyside and he would like to see them continue.
Sunnyside City Councilwoman Bengie Aguilar also filed for re-election to her council position. She currently holds position four on the council.
Miguel Puente was the only Sunnyside School Board candidate who filed for election last Friday. Puente filed for election to the director district five position, which is currently held by Bill Smith. Smith is not eligible to file for re-election because he is moving out of the district five boundaries.
Puente, who served on the board for a short time several years ago, said he would like to continue some of the efforts he started when he first served on the board. He said he would also like to work to increase communication between the district and its patrons.
In Grandview, the only last minute candidate was former Mayor Mike Bren. Bren filed for election to the Grandview Port Commission to serve as commissioner of district two, a seat currently held by Richard Shenyer. Shenyer did not file for re-election.
Bren said he decided to file for the position because he still has an interest in what is happening in Grandview. He added that he feels the Grandview Port Commission is a "...jewel that has yet to be discovered."
Bren said the Port has excellent property available and he is looking forward to being a part of the group who helps bring new businesses to those properties.
"It's an opportunity waiting to happen," he said.
In Mabton, five people filed for positions on the Mabton City Council.
David Conradt and Velva Herrera both filed Friday to serve as mayor.
Conradt, who is currently the city's mayor, said he decided to run for re-election because he would like to continue the work he has started.
He added that he would also like to helping bring more activities into the community, noting that it would be great if Mabton could build a community center or bring a medical clinic into the community.
Herrera, a long-time Mabton City Councilwoman, said she decided to run for mayor because it was something different.
"I love my community," Herrera said. "I've lived here all my life and the people know who I am."
Herrera said she plans on keeping an open mind when it comes to running Mabton, noting that her biggest goal is to see what Mabton needs and try to accomplish that. She added that she would also like to promote more community involvement.
Filing for election to Mabton City Council position two was Shelley D. Luther-Mireles. Mireles said she decided to run for office because she wants to be more involved in her community.
"I think we should all be more involved," Mireles said.
Both Angel Reyna and Sophia Gutierrez-Sotelo filed for election to Mabton City Council position three.
Reyna said he decided to file because having grown up in Mabton, earned his college degree and then returned to his hometown, he feels like he should give something back to the community.
Reyna said he sees the opportunity to serve on the city council as a learning experience he is ready to take on.
Last Friday, two more candidates filed for election to the Mabton School Board. Gabriel Mireles Jr. filed for election to the director district three position, which is currently held by Viviana Trejo. Trejo did not file for re-election. Teresa Ahumada filed for election to position one, which is an at-large position currently held by Peggy Zeebuyth. Zeebuyth did not file for re-election.
In Granger, Alfredo Gonzalez Jr. filed for re-election to Granger City Council position two.