Fulfilling a longstanding ambition, Cosmopolis Mayor Vickie Raines will formally announce her candidacy for Grays Harbor County Commissioner this afternoon at a campaign event in the town that spawned her political career.
With redistricting, Cosmopolis is now in District 3, currently represented by Herb Welch, who has been ailing lately, but has come back to the commission part time. Welch has not said whether he is running for re-election. Raines expects competition. “I honestly think I am the best person for the job,” she said.
Confessing she hasn’t slept well the past couple of nights, Raines said Wednesday that she is “really excited” to finally be organizing her campaign. She registered with the state Public Disclosure Commission over the weekend and is in the process of setting up a fundraising account, identification number and post office box. “I’m making my list and checking it twice,” she said, adding she wants to make sure her campaign has “integrity.”
She expects to raise from $20,000 to $25,000, and has already garnered the endorsement of local politicians, including two Grays Harbor Port Commissioners, freshly re-elected Chuck Caldwell and Jack Thompson. So far, five of the eight other mayors in the county support her efforts to run, but have not formally endorsed her as yet, she said. They include Jack Durney of Hoquiam, Bill Simpson of Aberdeen, Dave Osgood of Elma, Ken Estes of Montesano, and Michael Bruce of Westport.
Raines has been mayor since 2002 and is the chairwoman of the Chehalis River Basin Flood Authority and a member of the governor’s Chehalis Basin Work Group.
She will continue to work as a practice manager at Lindley Financial group while she campaigns; her boss will attend her announcement, she said Wednesday from their Montesano office.
Commission districts were redrawn in 2010 after the federal Census. Today, District 3 stretches from Taholah and Amanda Park down to Ocean Shores, North Beach, and Hoquiam before dipping down into Cosmopolis.
In an earlier interview, Raines praised her possible opponent, Welch. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for him, he’s doing a great job and has really brought forward some transparency to the commission that was lacking prior to him. He’s a person who listens,” she said.
Raines said then that she would announce when the timing “is best for me and my family.” Tomorrow afternoon, her husband Jerry and their three children will watch her toss her hat into the ring.
Erin Hart: 360-537-3932 or firstname.lastname@example.org and @/DW_Erin on Twitter