OKANOGAN Two races in Okanogan County are now uncontested, and the auditor’s office said the Twisp Town Council and Nespelem School Board will have to decide how to proceed if the candidate who can no longer serve still wins.
Twisp Town Councilman Clay Hill, who was seeking election to Position No. 5 after being appointed three years ago, started his new job this week as staff counsel for the state Republican House Caucus in Olympia.
Meanwhile, Jeannie R. Moon, a Nespelem School Board member for 45 years, died July 25.
The changes leave Dwight Filer as the sole candidate for the Twisp council position and Mitzi Adolph as the only contender for Position No. 4 on the Nespelem board.
Hill said he learned he got the Olympia job too late to withdraw from the race. A number of residents around town have since placed “Elect Dwight Filer” signs in their yards.
Hill resigned from the council on Sept. 9.
Twisp Town Clerk Jackie Moriarty said she couldn’t speculate how the council would proceed if Hill wins.
Moon, 76, “was just a gentle soul,” Superintendent John Adkins said. “Jeannie was on the board for 45 years, and we miss her so much.”
“We have had candidates who have died and appeared on the ballot,” Okanogan County Election Administrator Mila Jury said. “There are lots of laws governing a candidate who dies, from going to court and having the name removed to doing nothing. It depends if they have opposition, when in the election cycle the death occurs, etc.”
“We are responsible for counting the ballots only. It is up to the district to do the rest,” Jury said.
The Nespelem School Board decided in July to wait until the Nov. 5 election rather than appoint a temporary board member, Adkins said.
“If Jeannie was to win that election, then the board has some options,” including appointing Adolph or someone else, he said.
“The other obvious option is that Mitzi wins the election and she’s seated in January,” he said.
The county’s sole declared write-in candidate is Libby Harrison, who is running against incumbent Mayor Gail Howe.
Harrison who registered under the name “Liberty Harrison.”
She missed the deadline to file and have her name on the ballot. Joe McLean with the auditor’s office said voters can write in her name as Libby or Liberty, and even if they spell her name wrong it will be counted in her favor.
In Okanogan County, 86 other races have just one candidate. In Ferry County, there are 19 uncontested races.
According to the state Superintendent of Public Instruction’s office, Moon was the second-longest serving school board member in the state.
Jack Kirk, 88, of Brewster, has the top spot on that list, with 61 years of service and counting on the Brewster School Board.