Mayor to speak to students about local offices today

From staff reports

Pullman Mayor Glenn Johnson will speak alongside other local leaders about the importance of student voices in local politics from 4 to 5:30 p.m. today in the CUB, room 310.

During the event, “Young Americans for Public Office,” Johnson and other local leaders, including city councilor Nathan Weller, will talk about the upcoming council elections for three of the seven seats.

One seat up for each of Pullman’s wards is up for election. Al Sorensen, who Johnson said is planning to run for re-election, occupies the 1st Ward seat up for election. Fritz Hughes occupies the 2nd Ward seat, and is not planning to run again. Jeff Hawbaker occupies the 3rd Ward seat and is planning to run again, Johnson said.

WSU students are eligible to run, but must be 18 years old and Pullman residents, he said.

Students are also able to vote in the election, but if they are registered to vote in their hometown, they must first withdraw registration there in order to register in Pullman.

Interested candidates can file for candidacy between May 1 and 19 by mail, and in-person between May 15 and 19. If three or more interested candidates file for one seat, there will be a primary election, Johnson said. General elections are on Nov. 7.

“The city is looking for not someone looking to pad their resume,” Johnson said, “but someone who is interested in Pullman and the local issues.”

At tonight’s event, students can ask questions and speak to Weller and Johnson, as well as Whitman County Democrats Chair Eric Fejeran, WSU Young Democrats President Gavin Pielow and Matthew Sutherland, the 5th Congressional District candidate, whose campaign is hosting the event.

The council election is a non-partisan race, Johnson said, so councilors are able to focus on issues and not party politics.

The other four seats, as well as the office of the mayor, will not be up for election until 2019. All seats hold four-year terms, but the elections alternate so not all seats change at once, Johnson said.

Reporting by Haley Donwerth

Editor’s note: This article has been revised to reflect that the general election will take place on Nov. 7, not Nov. 1.