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A dozen local candidates file for re-election first thing Monday

There are 35 positions up for election in the Lower Yakima Valley, and Monday a dozen people made their way to the Yakima County Courthouse to ensure their name will be on the ballot this fall.

Twelve people from Grandview to Granger put their name in the hat Monday for positions on city councils, school boards and port district commissions. All of the people who filed Monday were incumbents seeking re-election.

In Sunnyside, Theresa Hancock filed for her position on the Sunnyside City Council. Hancock is the newest member of the Council, having been appointed just last month.

Hancock said she decided to run for re-election because she wants to be involved in the community. Hancock said if elected she plans to put Sunnyside first.

"I have no agendas," Hancock said. "I want to make Sunnyside a safe community and a healthy community, economically."

Also filing for his position was Sunnyside City Councilman Paul Garcia.

Garcia said during his time on the council he has learned a lot about what it takes for the city to serve all of its citizens and it's something that has piqued his interest.

Garcia said there are some issues he is looking forward to tackling if he is re-elected, adding that budget constraints will determine if those issues get touched on or not. He added that he is interested in issues that would benefit local youth.

Other Sunnyside City Council positions that are up for re-election this year include position two, currently held by Mike Farmer; position three, currently held by Bruce Ricks; and position four, held by Bengie Aguilar.

Two Sunnyside School Board members also filed for re-election Monday.

Joanne Kilian, who has served on the board since the late 1970s, said she decided to run for re-election because serving on the board is something that she still enjoys.

She added that the school district is also in the middle of some fairly large projects she would like to continue to be a part of. Kilian said she is looking forward to working on the new middle school and working to ensure that students' test scores continue to rise.

Also filing was Sunnyside School Board member Steve Carpenter. Carpenter said when he was appointed to the board he told school board members that he would file for re-election in the fall and filing Monday meant keeping his word.

Carpenter said if re-elected he plans to continue making decisions based on what is in the best interest of the students in the Sunnyside School District.

Other Sunnyside School Board positions up for re-election this fall include position one, currently held by Larry Pangle; position three, currently held by Lorenzo Garza Jr.; and position five, currently held by Bill Smith.

Jeff Matson also filed for his position Monday. Matson is a Port of Sunnyside commissioner and the only member of the board up for re-election this fall.

Matson said he decided to throw his name back into the hat because he enjoys serving the community.

"I just want to continue the work of the Port in furthering the economy of Sunnyside," Matson said.

In Grandview, there are five city council positions up for re-election this fall. As of Monday, all of the incumbents for those positions had filed with the exception of one.

Mayor Norm Childress filed for re-election, noting that he has spent nearly 13 years serving on the city council and is looking forward to working for the city as its mayor.

"I think Grandview is doing some good things," Childress added. "And I'd like to see them continued."

Councilman Rick McLean also filed for re-election, noting that he is looking forward to continuing the work of the council. He added that he also feels it's important for the council to represent the diversity of the community, and being a business owner he feels that he helps contribute to that.

McLean said if re-elected he wants to focus more attention on keeping Grandview's streets safe.

Other Grandview City Council members who filed for re-election Monday include Pam Horner and Javier Rodriguez.

There are three positions up for re-election on the Grandview School Board, and Monday school board member Alfonso Contreras filed for his position in director district three. Other positions up for re-election include the position in director district two, currently held by Kirk Michels; and the position in director district five, currently held by Ron Fox.

The Port of Grandview also has two positions that will be on the ballot this fall. Commissioner Colleen Byam in district one and Commissioner Richard Shenyer in district two are both up for re-election. As of Monday, neither incumbent had filed.

In Mabton, there are four positions up for re-election on the Mabton City Council. Those positions include the seats currently held by Mayor David Conradt, Councilwomen Virginia Molina and Velva Herrera, and Councilman Ernesto Armendariz. Armendariz is the only incumbent who filed for his position Monday.

There are two positions up for re-election on the Mabton School Board. The position for director district three, a spot currently held by Viviana Trejo, and position one at-large, a spot currently held by Cynthia Zeebuyth, are both set to be on the ballot in the fall. As of Monday, neither incumbent had filed.

There are four positions up for re-election on the Granger City Council. The positions include those currently held by Councilwomen Lilia Villarreal and Natalie Ybarra, and Councilmen Alfredo Gonzalez and Jo Miles. Ybarra is the only Granger City Councilman who filed for her position Monday.

This fall there will also be two Granger School Board positions on the ballot. Both Charles Alexander, who currently serves in the director district one position, and Kyle Shinn, who serves in the director district five position, are up for re-election. As of Monday, neither incumbent had filed for re-election.

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