From last week's Sentinel, in case you missed the October meeting!
Juris spoke first, and Hoctor followed. Juris wanted to stress the point that, “This position should be a non-partisan position.” The Democrats of Klickitat County will ultimately be the deciding factor in this race, Juris said. He then covered his experience as an attorney from college internships to his time in the prosecuting attorney’s office.
Hoctor explained that she wants to see a change in the office. “We don’t need to be punching walls and yelling down the hall when we lose a case,” she said. Hoctor added that doing bad things doesn’t make someone a bad person, referring to juveniles that are put through the judicial system. With plans to do more Stipulated Orders of Continuance (SOCs), Hoctor wants to “make a positive change.” SOCs, as explained by Juris, are situations where if people facing charges “behave themselves for six months,” their cases can then be dismissed. Hoctor stated she didn’t want to just put people in jail without trying to help them rehabilitate first. However, she says, murderers, child molesters, and other serious offenders should be punished without question.
Juris and Hoctor were given the opportunity to ask each other a question. Juris asked Hoctor, “Why, with all of the statistics, have there been so much negativity and personal attacks?” Hoctor responded that she didn’t think she’s been negative.
Hoctor asked Juris, “Why don’t you have the support of Keith Anderson [Juvenile Court Administrator]?” Juris answered that this is the first time he’s heard about this and he couldn’t comment. Tuesday morning, calls were made to the juvenile department in order to confirm Hoctor’s assertion that Anderson did not support Juris. Anderson responded, “In my position I cannot make a public stance on this,” referring to supporting either candidate. He added, “I am surprised she [Hoctor] said that publicly.”
On the subject of endorsing, both candidates were then asked what major supporters they have. Hoctor went first and stated she had the support of the sheriff’s office, juvenile probation, the city police, and others.
Juris reacted with, “Every one of those groups that were just mentioned has said they support me.” Juris stated that he had the support of 17 prosecuting attorneys statewide and the civil service commissioners.
After the discussion with the two Republican candidates, the gathering moved into the general meeting for the Klickitat County Democrats. Victoria Allen, Democratic candidate for Klickitat County, commented on her perception of the campaign so far. “The information being used against me is a lot of misinformation,” explained Allen. In previous candidate’s nights across the county, Darlene Johnson, Allen’s opponent, has used the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) report many times, Allen added. She said, “ [Johnson] has been looking at the whole process through the lens of the 2008 reassessment.” According to Allen, the “bad” numbers that Johnson refers to are from three years ago. “She’s only looking at the appraisal process, not the whole picture” added Allen.
Three Park and Recreation candidates for the west side of the county—Michael Solbach, Vern Harpol, and Dana Scheffler—were present as well. The three agreed on the importance of the Park and Recreation establishment in District 2. Solbach is in the race against two others for position 3. Scheffler and Harpol are opponents for position 4, although they don’t see it that way. “We are not running against each other,” said Harpol. All of them have the same goals and have agreed to do the same thing when elected. There are a total of five positions for the Park and Recreation District 2.
Paul Spencer, Democratic candidate for State Representative position 1, was present as well. He discussed what the Democrats’ strategy should be and how they want to get people out there to vote.
“There was not a good turnout for Democrats in the primary,” said Spencer. Although not discouraged, Spencer said he feels there needs to be more action on the Democrats’ parts in the southern part of Legislative District (LD) 15. LD 15 refers to parts of Clark and Yakima Counties, and all of Klickitat and Skamania counties.