Will A Less “White” Yakima Council Race Draw More Hispanic Voters?
A little late in the game but we're here now. Starting Tues 7/27/21, for the next three days, the KIT Morning News will be featuring interviews with the candidates for three open Yakima City Council seats in Districts 2, 4, & 6. On Friday the District #3 Yakima County Commissioner Candidate race will be featured.
What that means is if you live in one of those districts you'll get a primary ballot in the mail, if you live in districts 1,3,5, or 7, you won't...so don't be alarmed.
District #2 Recent History
Our first set of interviews will feature the four candidates running for Yakima's southeast district #2 Current councilman Jason White, who is not seeking re-election, was elected to the position in November 2017. White won the election with 573 votes to challenger Pablo Gonzales' 234 votes.
The district #2 incumbent at the time, Mayor Avina Gutierrez, lost to both men in the 3-person primary receiving just 86 votes. That was significant in that Gutierrez was part of the historic team of three Latina women first elected to the Yakima Council starting in 2018 as part of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawsuit redistricting effort.
The ACLU designed District #2 as a "Minority-Majority District" and it was served by a Hispanic for just 2 years before White won the seat. That changes now that all four candidates are Hispanic.
Votes By The Numbers
According to the City's website district map (not sure when this was last updated), the district population is listed at 13,358 with 9,713 residents listed as Hispanic.
The County Auditor's office sent 4,393 ballots to the district with just 188 returned so far.
Because of the demographics and low voter turnout, less than 600 votes earned a seat on the council in district #2 in 2017. How will the turnout be this year? Auditor Charles Ross expects a 25 to 28% turnout for the election.
The winner in district #2 will carry the same degree of legislative influence that the winner of district #6 will have, generally requiring a few thousand votes to win. Don't get me started on judicially mandated electoral inequality...
Interview Schedule This Week
7:00-7:30AM Danny Herrera
7:30-8:00AM Edgar Hernandez
8:00-8:30AM Raul Martinez
8:30-9:00AM Christina Martinez
Wednesday, July 28
7:00-7:30AM Janice Deccio
7:30-8:00AM Mark Shervey
Thursday, July 29
7:30-8:00AM Sam Johnson
8:00-8:30AM Lisa Wallace
8:30-9:00AM Matt Brown
Friday, July 30
Yakima County Commission
8:00-8:30AM Autumn Torres
8:30-9:00AM LaDon Linde
LOOK: Here are 50 political terms you should know before the upcoming election