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Local candidates stump for vote

YAKIMA - Candidates vying for county, state and federal public offices met last night (Wednesday) in Yakima to convince voters to cast their ballots for them.

Hosted by the League of Women Voters, citizens were able to have a meet and greet with the prospective candidates and then heard a two-minute speech from them.

The first set of candidates that spoke were vying for Yakima County partisan offices.

Corky Mattingly

Mattingly has been the Yakima County Auditor for the past nine years.

The Grandview native sits on the YVCC Board of Trustees, is an active member of the Kiwanis Club and is a Yakima Leadership graduate.

Mattingly said one of things she is most proud of is eliminating the old chad system of voting. She said the county implemented a mail-in procedure to handle voting.

Mattingly also said the recording system in the assessor's office has also been updated.

Kim Eaton

Eaton is currently serving as Yakima County Clerk and has held this position for the past 18 years.

Eaton said she believes in automation and has been working on implementing technology in the clerk's office for the past four years. This includes updating the document/record management system and upgrading jury management software.

She said these processes have allowed reallocation of staff time to other duties and has provided efficiencies for Yakima County judges and commissioners.

Janelle Riddle

Riddle is running against Eaton for Yakima County Clerk. She said she is a lifelong resident of the area and Riddle and her husband own and operate an excavation business in Naches.

Riddle said she has extensive knowledge of federal, state and local laws pertaining to the duties of the county clerk's position. She also has knowledge of the budgeting, accounting and reporting system used by all public entities throughout the state.

As a small business owner Riddle said she is fiscally conservative and feels she has the solutions to increase the reserves of the county finances while decreasing major expenses that will create jobs.

Dave Cook

Cook has been the Yakima County Assessor for the past 12 years.

He said what has made him proud during his service has been bringing a business approach to customer service to a government office.

"I think I have done that," he said.

He's also proud of taking the maximum effort to make the office more efficient and to implement technology.

Cook said property taxes and exemptions will need to be looked at by the state legislature and he plans on being a part of that.

Ilene Thompson

Thompson has worked in the Yakima County Treasurer's Office for the past 20 years and has served as treasurer for the past eight years.

A native of Yakima, Thompson touted the increase in technology she has been able to incorporate into the environment at the treasurer's office.

One such piece was a new payment scanner. This cut the need for extra employees during tax season from 12 to four.

Jim Hagarty

Hagarty is currently the Yakima County prosecutor, having been appointed to the position in January 2009.

Hagarty said in his short time in office he has established a gang task force, been more aggressive in prosecutions, reduced the backlog of cases in Yakima County Superior Court and is looking forward to doing more in the future.

Hagarty served 20 years in the prosecutor's office in Klickitat County and said he has handled every aspect of the prosecutor's office.

E. David Lees

Lees is running against Hagarty for the position of Yakima County Prosecutor.

Lees said he believes in being conservative with the county's finances and would like to see more community involvement with monthly town hall meetings.

He said families come first and he is a believer in small government.

Since 2006 Lees has been the prosecutor for the Yakama Nation.

Ken Irwin

Irwin is running for re-election for Yakima County Sheriff, a position he took over in 2001.

With 38 years in law enforcement, Irwin's philosophy for his deputies is to solve crimes, take down criminals and bring them to justice. But he also wants them to show compassion in their job.

This is something he said his deputies have done.

Tom Silva

Silva is running for Washington State Legislator for the 15th District against incumbent David Taylor.

Silva is from Wapato and told those gathered he is running because he loves his community and believes it is important for the 15th District to have a Lower Valley voice.

He said his main focus is jobs and feels his experience as a farmer with a background in science will help.

Geffrey Hoekman

Hoekman is running for position three in the Yakima County Commissioner's office.

He is from Zillah and thinks he has a feel for what living in the valley is like.

He holds an economic degree from Washington State University and feels this will be beneficial for the commissioner's office.

Hoekman promised to serve with accountability and integrity and will be a voice for the Lower Valley.

Kenneth Stevens

Stevens is also running for position 3 in the Yakima County Commissioner's office.

He said he would refuse his $81,000 salary and benefits package if he is elected commissioner. Stevens said he would like to limit spending on speculative economic growth and take care of existing infrastructure in the entire county.

He blamed the $1.3 million county budget shortfall on poor spending practices and commissioners' salaries.

Stevens also favors implementing impact fees on new utilities and developments, stating this will help the Yakima Valley provide money for roads that are in disrepair.

Mike Everett

Everett is running for Yakima County District Judge position 4.

A Grandview resident, Everett has spent the past six years as Wapato's Municipal Court Judge. He said he stepped into that position when the court was broken and turned it around on a shoestring budget.

One of the things he did was add a computer to the judge's bench which gave him immediate access to a suspect's prior criminal history. This saved time for court clerks and increased their productivity.

Everett has 35 years of legal experience in Yakima County and said he will bring that with him to the bench.

Bronson Faul

Faul is also running for Yakima County District Court Judge position 4. He noted that Yakima County has a problem with gangs and crime. He feels he is the one candidate with the experience to handle this because he has been working as a prosecutor with the city of Yakima. He began his prosecutorial career with Yakima County.

Faul has been serving as a pro-tem judge for Selah, Union Gap, Grandview and Yakima County for the past three years.

Doug Federspiel

Federspiel is also running for Yakima County District Court position 4. He has more than 20 years of experience at all levels in the judicial system.

He has tried cases in district court ranging from criminal to civil, been a judge pro-tem for Yakima County Superior Court and the juvenile court.

Federspiel said he has experience in superior court as well as appellate experience.

Rex Brocki

Brocki is running for U.S. Representative for District 4.

Brocki said he has professional experience in the government, radio and television, owning a restaurant, being a real estate broker and owning a storage business.

If elected Brocki said he would work to reduce federal spending, end the war on drugs, end the personal income tax and reverse Roe vs. Wade.

Jay Clough

Clough is running for Washington State U.S. Representative position 4, too. He believes the incumbent, Doc Hastings, is not representing the community as he should be.

Clough said Hastings has been in Congress for too long and has become part of the problem.

If elected he said he would fight for nuclear power and renewable energy technologies.

Mary Ruth Edwards

Edwards is another candidate running for U.S. Representative position 4.

Her platform is to honor God, defend the family and restore the republic.

She blamed both Republicans and Democrats for the current mess the country is in and wants to restore constitutional limits by re-asserting the 10th Amendment.

She claims making decisions based on the U.S. Constitution will decrease federal spending, which will increase the country's ability to defend the borders.

Shane Fast

Fast, a self-described conservative Republican, is also running for U.S. Representative position 4.

He wants to secure the borders and get a handle on immigration. Fast also supports programs like e-verify to help fight illegal immigration.

If elected to Congress, Fast said he will support drilling for oil, cut taxes to a livable level, fix Medicaid and Medicare, fix how veterans get treated at VA hospitals and set term limits.

Leland Yialelis

Yialelis is also running for U.S. Representative position 4 as an independent.

He said the mess in Washington D.C. is the result of Republicans and Democrats. He told those gathered if they were happy with the current situation to keep voting the incumbents in. If not, they might want to consider voting for him.

He favors sound fiscal management and wants to lower the deficit. He also would like to see the United States totally energy independent in this decade.

He said he will fight for limited government, the middle class and reducing the deficit.

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