Voting Season Two Weeks Away



Yelm Changed State Rules for Campaign Funding:

Reporter's Note: The Yelm mayoral race between Steve Klein and Ron Harding in 2005 changed the rules and regulations of small jurisdiction voting in Washington state. Before 2005, candidates running for positions in jurisdictions with less than 5,000 registered voters did not have to report contribution funds. This changed when Klein raised close to $50,000, providing voters full-color photos, promotional pens and a 14-minute DVD. In 2005, Yelm had less than 2,000 registered voters and had 4,200 in the last election. Klein’s contributions were rumored to come from Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment where Klein regularly attended and was part of the leadership team. Harding won with 78 percent of the vote, compared to Klein’s 21 percent.

If you have driven through Yelm lately, you have probably seen the streets decorated with local politician’s signs asking for citizens support. Voters should expect to see their general election ballot in the mail between Oct. 20 and Oct. 25. The last day to register to vote online is Oct. 9 and the last day to register in person is Oct. 30.

Voters in Yelm city limits will decide the next mayor and two council positions. In the Yelm mayoral race current Mayor JW Foster is up against current Councilor Joe DePinto. In the Yelm Council Position 3 election, Cody Colt squares off against current Councilor Russ Hendrickson. For Yelm Council Position 7, Terry Kaminski is up against James Blair.

Voters in Rainier have a contested mayoral race between previous Building Official Ron Kemp and current Mayor Bob Shaw. Roy has no contested races.

Thurston County voters will also vote on Sub Region 2 Fire Commissioner, Position No. 2  for the Southeast Thurston Fire Authority. The race is between Jeff DeHan and Clint Farmer.

Candidates in Yelm and Rainier do not need to report how much money they receive from donors or who those donors are because both cities have less than 4,000 registered voters, unless a candidate expects to raise more than $5,000. 

Foster, DePinto and Blair are the only three candidates who planned to meet or exceed the $5,000 threshold in Yelm, Rainier and Roy. Candidates that report over $5,000 cannot accept contributions over $1,000 per individual. 

Foster has raised almost $3,000 more than DePinto and Foster has more than doubled the spending of his opponent. A few donors contributed to both campaigns including Steve Klein, Cynthia Schmier and Tad Stillwell. 

“There are a few retired folks who gave me small amounts that were significant in the impact on their budgets — I really appreciate that support,” Foster said. “But without a doubt the most valuable contribution to my campaign has been the support and encouragement I have received from my wife and family. I could not do this without them.”

DePinto echoed Foster, thanking friends for their support.

“While I’m proud of anyone who has contributed to my campaign, I am particularly proud of all of my friends that I grew up with and went to school with here in Yelm who are supporting me,” DePinto said.

JW Foster

Steve Klein — $1,000

Robert Pearson — $750

Prairie Park Hotel — $750

Local Firefighters — $500

Washington Teamsters Legislative League — $500

EJ Curry — $500

Southeast Thurston Professional Firefighters — $500

Cynthia Schmier — $500

Gary Edwards — $500

Mike Edwards — $500

Margaret Clapp — $500

Joseph Williams — $400

Joe Kane — $300

Jim Wilcox — $300

Mary Gentry — $250

The Affordable Housing

Council of Olympia Master Builders — $250

Tracie Choate — $250

Agnes Bennick — $200

Barrie Wilcox — $200

Jim Shine — $125

Jason Witherow — $100

Debbie Edwards — $100

Anne Foster — $100

Russ Hendrickson — $100

Patricia McElroy — $100

Bill McGregor — $100

Edward Pablo — $100

Tad Stillwell — $100

Anne Wahrmund — $100

Small contributions — $65

John Carpenter — $40

Total contributions: $9,780

Total expenditures: $8,076

Joe DePinto 

Fallon Stidd — $1,000

Yael Klein — $1,000

Steve Klein — $1,000

Joe DePinto — $531

Cynthia Schmier — $500

Joe DePinto Sr. — $500

Myong DePinto — $500

Dan Wollam — $200

Dwayne Mathis — $145

Tad Stillwell — $135

Small contributions — $115

Mathew Manweller — $100

Taylor Mills — $100

Chase Monroe — $100

Erin Erbele — $100

Kyle Rogers — $100

John Welsh — $100

Mark Brown — $100

Kammie Lisenby — $100

Bryan Maloney — $75

Ralph Reagan — $50

James Blair — $50

Tony Feuchter — $50

Josh Crawford — $50

Pat Block — $50

Total contributions: $6,752

Total expenditures: $3,511

James Blair

Justin Horrell — $1,000

David Aschmann — $325

Small contributions — $203

George Carpenter — $100

Logan Boydell — $100

James Passey — $100

Christopher Rockhold — $100

James Blair — $105

Eric Mulder — $10

Anonymous contributions — $9

Aronson Richard — $3

Total contributions: $2,058

Total expenditures: $1,931


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