Who's running? A geek's guide to Clark County's local races

It’s a Winter Olympics year, and in political geeksville that means the cities are taking the election off. Instead, Clark County’s so-called “junior” elected offices are up for grabs.

That’d be the county assessor, auditor, clerk, prosecuting attorney, sheriff and treasurer. The county’s most urban commissioner district, which includes Minnehaha and all but the northeast corner of the City of Vancouver, is in the mix, too.

So, who’s running? Let’s take the latest list one race at a time.

1) We already know Prosecuting Attorney Art Curtis (D) is retiring after 30 years, and that deputy prosecutor Tony Golik (D), Chief Deputy Prosecutor Curt Wyrick (D) and assistant city attorney Brent Boger (R) are in the race. Criminal defense attorney Jeff Sowder (D) is running, too; look for our piece on him in Wednesday’s paper.

2) Commissioner Steve Stuart (D) has now officially signed up to run for his second full term, echoing what he told me in October. A record-setting fundraiser at the local level, Stuart turned back talk that he might be in the race for Brian Baird‘s seat in Congress (priceless response, BTW, when I asked one local lobbyist about Stuart that morning: “It’s his destiny, isn’t it?”). Nobody has stepped up yet to take on Stuart, but it’ll be a surprise if this magenta county can’t find a credible Republican challenger in such a tough year for the blue team. Stuart’s commissioner district is deeply Democratic — but that won’t do him much good in the general election, when the full county will get to vote.

3) Assessor Linda Franklin (D) seems to be unofficially in for re-election, too. The woman who runs the county’s property appraisal and mapping services has been trading punches for months with Peter Van Nortwick (R). Franklin’s 2006 opponent, Bill Jameson (R), has put his name in but isn’t campaigning and says he’s likely to withdraw in favor of Van Nortwick.

4) Longtime Auditor Greg Kimsey (R) and longtime Treasurer Doug Lasher (D) definitely aren’t one another’s biggest fans, but both want to spend another four years working together on the county’s finances and public records. No challengers to either yet.

5) Sherry Parker (D), the first-term county clerk, is also so far unopposed for four more years running the county court’s records system. Her husband, Phil Parker, is a leader in the local electricians’ union, and it threw a whopping $15,000 behind her 2006 campaign.

6) What about Sheriff Garry Lucas (R)? Lucas, who will turn 67 in October, has consistently won by big margins since taking office in the early 90s, but there’s been zero noise from his corner.

That’s the dramatis personae to date. Heard anything else? We haven’t started making calls yet, but we’d love to know who to askā€¦

— Michael Andersen

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