There are two milestones to report for the 2010 election season.
The first is that the 15th legislative district (which includes the Lower Valley) saw its first contest. The other involved the county's first official Tea Party candidate filing for office.
That's according to the latest election filings reported since yesterday morning, Thursday, by the Yakima County Auditor's office and Secretary of State Sam Reed.
Fifteenth District State Rep. position 2 incumbent David Taylor will have a primary contest against Paul Spencer (D-Stevenson), who filed yesterday afternoon.
It is the first and so far only 2010 race in the 15th as the other incumbents, Sen. Jim Honeyford and Rep. Bruce Chandler, are still running unopposed.
The first Tea Party candidate is Kenneth L. Stevens of Yakima who, along with Geffrey Hoekman (R-Zillah), filed yesterday to seek the county commissioner, district 3, seat currently held by incumbent Rand Elliott.
With the two county commissioner candidate filings yesterday, Elliott will face a primary race later this summer.
There was one other milestone reached for the 2010 election season in the Yakima Valley, as the first Republican candidate filed to challenge Fourth District Congressman Doc Hastings (R- Pasco).
Hastings had been in a four-way primary race, but against candidates from other parties. That changed as Shane Fast (R-Kennewick) threw his hat into the ring early this morning, Friday.
In local filings for office, the Yakima County Auditor's office reports there is now a contest for county auditor as Mark Peterson (R-Yakima) filed yesterday to challenge Democratic incumbent Corky Mattingly.
U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Seattle) saw her primary race become further crowded as the field now numbers 12 candidates.
The latest U.S. Senate candidate filings since yesterday morning are Bob Burr (D-Bellingham), Paul Akers (R-Bellingham) and Clint Didier (R-Eltopia).
Also during this week the following Lower Valley residents have filed for precinct committee officer posts. The precinct is listed in parenthesis.
Robert Dunham (Grandview 301)
Thomas Peterson (Sunnyside 1706)
Margaret L. Castaneda (Granger 3303)
Joyce M. Johnson (Grandview 302)
Diego Trejo and Ronald Sexton (Grandview 306)
Don Vlieger (Sunnyside 1701)
Mike Farmer (Sunnyside 1705)
Jason R. Raines (Sunnyside 1706)
Mike Wallace (Grandview 3101)
Laurie Beltman (Granger 4801)
Prospective candidates for office have until this afternoon to file with either the state or county elections departments.