Filing Week ends with termination

The election season started out with a bang.

Wanda Grone, the Island County chief deputy treasurer, filed to run against her boss and was promptly fired last week.

And that wasn’t the only surprise as several candidates who hadn’t previously announce made it official during the candidate filing period, which ended last Friday.

Grone, the second in command in the treasurer’s office, said she knew she may face termination by running against Treasurer Ana Maria Nunez, who hired her three years ago. The position is at-will and she can be terminated without cause.

But she felt strongly that change was needed in the office and faulted her boss for being unresponsive to the public and not having a strong work ethic.

Nunez said that Grone’s decision to run against her and not tell her ahead of time shows that she can no longer trust her.

“The chief deputy position is one that requires loyalty. It’s someone who is the confidant of the elected official,” she said. “It’s someone I need to be able to trust.”

A third candidate, Coupeville resident Christa Canell, also entered the race. She works at Land Title and Escrow.

Nunez is a Democrat. Her two challengers are Republicans.

Coupeville resident Becky Wagner filed to run against Island County Auditor Sheilah Crider. Wagner is an independent and Crider is a Republican.

Wagner is the financial director at Senior Services of Island County and formerly the chief accountant at the Skagit County Auditor’s Office.

As expected, four Republican and one Democratic candidates have filed for the District 3 commissioner position abandoned by Kelly Emerson.

The Republican candidates are Camano resident Aubrey Vaughan, Oak Harbor resident Rick Hannold, Camano resident Marc Hennemann and Camano resident Kelly Bagley.

Karla Jacks, a Camano Island resident, is the sole Democratic candidates.

County Assessor Mary Wilson-Engle, County Clerk Debra Van Pelt, Coroner Robert Bishop, Prosecutor Greg Banks, District Court Judge Bill Hawkins and Sheriff Mark Brown are all running unopposed.

State Rep. Dave Hayes, a Camano Island Republican, has attracted three challengers for his 10th district position.

Oak Harbor resident David Sponheim and Mount Vernon resident Nick Petrish are running as Democrats

Oak Harbor resident Brien Lillquist filed to run against Hayes as a Republican.

Rep. Norma Smith, a Republican from Clinton, has two challengers. Camano Island resident Michael Scott is running as a Libertarian.

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Arlington, also has one challenger. Mike Lapointe of Everett is running as an independent. Marysville resident B.J. Guillot is a Republican.


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