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Filing period for County Council, Superior Court judge begins May 14

Editor's note: the article below contains information from a county-issued  press release

Candidate filing week will arrive three weeks earlier in 2012 than last year, because of a change in state law.

County offices open for filing this year are Superior Court judge and County Council District 1 (San Juan South), District 3 (Friday Harbor), and District 4 (Orcas West).

To be on the ballot, candidates must file a declaration of candidacy and pay a filing fee between May 14 and May 18.

The Council elections will take place against the uncertain backdrop of the upcoming November 2012 vote on the Charter Review Commission’s recommendations. One of the recommendations endorsed by the CRC would return the county council to three “whole-island” districts, similar to the former county commissioner districts.

The six current districts are designed to be of nearly equal population.

Ushered in under the county's voter-approved home-rule charter, the county council consists of six "part-time" elected officials, each of whom earn roughly $36,000 a year, plus benefits.

If the CRC’s proposals fail to win voter approval, the newly elected council members will serve four-year terms on the county’s six member council.

If voters approve the CRC’s recommendations, the current council would be abolished just five months after the newly elected council members are sworn in. In that case, elections for a new three-member council would be held in February 2013, with run-off elections in April.  The winners would take office May 7, when results of the April election are certified.

For now, plans continue for the election of the three open council positions this fall as they are currently construed in the charter.

The San Juan County Elections Office will accept online candidate filing from 9 a.m., Monday, May 14, through Friday, May 18, at 4 p.m.  In-person filings will be accepted Monday, May 14, 8 a.m. , through Friday, May 18, at 4:30 p.m.  Mail-in filings may be received no earlier than Monday, April 30, and no later than Friday, May 18.

The names of candidates facing two or more challengers will appear on the Aug. 7 primary ballot. Offices with only one or two candidates filed will go directly to the Nov. 7 general election ballot.

Candidates are encouraged to file online. Those who file online will not only receive confirmation of their filing, but also updates when other candidates file for that office.  Candidates may file online using either their personal computers or a computer set up in the Elections Office.

To file online, go to www.sanjuanco.com/elections and click “Candidate Filing.”

If filing by mail, send forms to San Juan County Auditor, Elections Office, P.O. Box 638, Friday Harbor, WA 98250.

In-person filings forms should be taken to the Elections Office, 55 2nd Street, Friday Harbor. In addition to the council and superior court positions, Democratic and Republican precinct committee officers positions will also be open for filing.

The filing fee for San Juan County Council is $337.19, and $1,488.32 for superior court judge. There is no filing fee for precinct committee officer.

Those interested in running for office are encouraged to call county Elections at (360) 378-3357 for more information.

 

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