Benton County Commissioner Race for Position Three - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Benton County Commissioner Race for Position Three

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KENNEWICK, Wash-- It's a race KNDU has been watching closely. Benton County Commissioner Position Three. In the primary Kennewick Mayor Jim Beaver had a sizeable lead over the current Commissioner, Claude Oliver.
Beaver has been the Mayor of Kennewick for seven consecutive terms. Oliver has been Commissioner for the last 11 years. Both candidates have a long history in this community.

Before Claude Oliver was a County Commissioner, he'd been the county treasurer for 15 years and a state representative.

"I love my job, that's the neat thing about it to get up in the morning and be energized to go again and wake an hour early thinking about a project that needs to be going. I can't wait to get up and get there," said Oliver.

Beaver has been Mayor of Kennewick since 1996, he owns Beaver Furniture in Kennewick and has sat on the city council since 1990.

"Commissioners a good place to start. I'd like to make some changes there to see if we can evaluate the level of cooperation in this community," said Beaver.

Being a Commissioner involves leading several county projects. Both candidates are passionate about different issues in the community.

"Well of course use of Hanford facilities, that goes back a lot of years with a lot of people. We are at a critical stage now getting CCR, consolidated crisis response, built and done. We continue to improve county facilities we are going to dedicate three new court rooms next week and criminal justice reform," said Oliver.

Oliver wants to keep working on long-running projects like medical isotopes and the Consolidated Crisis Center. Beaver says he wants to work on bringing more economic development into the county.

"I like Black Rock Reservoir, I see know reason why the project can't move forward and I would lobby hard when at all possible. I think that water in the Yakima River, it's very important and very vital to the economic vitality of our community, so Hanford funding is another issue. I would embrace those," said Beaver.

Beaver and Oliver are both Republicans. Beaver has raised more campaign money and spent more than Oliver. County Commissioner is a full time job and it pays about $89,000 a year.