County officials will face voters

As a number of Island County elected offices come to term this year, many incumbents remain unchallenged in their bids for re-election.

The positions of county assessor, auditor, clerk, District 3 commissioner, coroner, prosecuting attorney, sheriff and treasurer are all up for grabs in the Nov. 5 general election. Anyone wishing to file for candidacy must do so with the auditor's office during the last week of July.

Island County Auditor Suzanne Sinclair is seeking re-election as a Republican candidate. She has held the auditor's position since she was appointed for an unexpired term in November 1997, taking over for retiring assessor Art Hyland. Sinclair was elected to a full term in 1998.

First elected in 1998, incumbent District 3 Commissioner Bill Thorn, a Democrat, is seeking election to a second term. During his tenure as a county commissioner, Thorn has served as chair of the Island Transit Board and is currently chair of the Northwest Regional Council.

Sheriff Mike Hawley also has decided to stick with it, in spite of mounting budget woes. First appointed to the position in November 1996, Hawley has been re-elected twice as a Republican.

Maxine Sauter has been Island County's treasurer since she was elected to the position in 1986. A Republican who also claims strong support from local Democrats, Sauter is seeking re-election to what would be her fifth consecutive term.

Incumbent Jane Koetje is seeking first-time election as county clerk. A Republican, she was appointed in October by the board of commissioners after Marilee Black resigned.

Prosecuting attorney Greg Banks, a Democrat, was elected in 1998. He has not announced if he will seek re-election.

Incumbent assessor Tom Baenen, a Republican, said he intends to run for a third term. Coroner Robert Bishop is another Republican seeking for a third term.

Filing fees are $581.21 for all positions except commissioner ($645.79), prosecuting attorney ($807.24) and sheriff (645.79). Anyone who is indigent can petition to be exempted from paying the fee.

Candidate filing forms and information can be obtained at Island County's web site,

elections.htm, or by calling 321-5111.

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