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Seven new filings for Lower Valley offices

Seven more people have emerged as candidates for public office, according to filings with the Yakima County elections office yesterday, Tuesday.

Four incumbents have decided to try to hold on to their seats and three new faces have thrown their hats into the ring.

City of Sunnyside

Sunnyside City Council has two more candidates whose filings showed up yesterday.

Councilwoman Theresa Hancock announced that she will be running to retain her Dist. 1 seat.

"I made the decision to seek re-election to the city council by supportive citizens and my lifelong love of Sunnyside," she said. "My goal when I first applied for council was to give back to my community that has given so generously to me."

Hancock said her goals in office have been a stable budget, written policies for city personnel, keeping criminal elements out of Sunnyside, connecting police and citizens in a positive way, keeping council business open and making sure citizens have a voice in government.

"Right now, the city is in flux and the budget numbers are not what I hope them to be, and promise to work diligently to see them return to the balance and surplus the previous council I served on created four years ago," she said.

Hancock has also taken advantage of learning opportunities while a council member and has earned an Advanced Certificate of Municipal Leadership from the Association of Washington Cities.

Also running for Sunnyside City Council is Victor Ochoa, who is seeking the seat currently held by Deputy Mayor Don Vlieger in Dist. 3. Ochoa, a regular attendee of council meetings, said he's watched how the city is run and believes there is a lot that needs to be done to improve life in Sunnyside.

Sunnyside School District

Seeking a position on the Sunnyside School District Board of Directors is attorney Steve Winfree. He has filed for the seat in Dist. 3 being vacated by Lorenzo Garza Jr.

"I've done a lot of committee work for the district over the years, mostly on the property side," Winfree said. "I'm currently on the ethics committee. I have an interest in the schools. When I learned Lorenzo wasn't going to run I gave it some thought and decided that I could commit the time.

"What I have to offer is nearly 40 years of law practice, experience dealing with government agencies and boards," he said. "And I've had training seeing what makes boards work well. I feel I have something to offer."

Fire District No. 5

The race for the position 2 commissioner in Fire Protection Dist. No. 5 is heating up, with two filings appearing yesterday.

Incumbent David Charvet of Grandview will seek re-election to the position he's held for many years.

"I think the fire service is a good program," he said. "And I have history, with my father being one of the first fire commissioners for 37 years. I know a lot about the fire service from working in law enforcement all these years, and I want to make sure they have the training, manpower and equipment they need. We have really good volunteers, I want to support them this way."

Running against Charvet is challenger Daryl Bullard of Wapato.

Mabton School District

Also filing for his position on the Mabton School Board is James Adams. The incumbent is seeking the Dist. 1 position.

Bickleton School District

The incumbent in Position 5 of the Bickleton School Board, Gary Hess, has filed to be re-elected in his seat.

"The people of Bickleton district want me to be there, I will serve," said Hess. "I've enjoyed my time on the board."

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