Angie Girard

Angie Girard makes signs in support of Christine Blasey Ford during Judge Brett Kavanaugh's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018, in Yakima, Wash.

Yakima County Commissioner Amanda McKinney, a Republican, has drawn a Democratic challenger in the race for her District 1 seat.

Yakima resident Angie Girard announced Thursday on Facebook that she would file a declaration for a write-in campaign challenging the incumbent. Only McKinney’s name will appear on the ballot.

“I’m a planner by nature, but sometimes you have to act,” Girard said in an interview Friday.

She said some people had reached out online saying they were going to write in her name. After thinking it over, Girard said she wanted to make it official.

“I thought, ‘(McKinney) shouldn’t run unopposed,’” she said.

Primary election write-in candidates who receive at least 1% of the total vote will appear on the general election ballot, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

The top two candidates in the primary, regardless of party affiliation, advance to the November general election.

Girard is director of accreditation and compliance at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences and a member of the online Yakima Health First group, which was created after commissioners approved an ordinance giving themselves more power on the health board and setting term limits for nonelected health board members.

Girard filed a lawsuit alleging Open Public Meeting Act violations by the Yakima County Commission after the decision, naming McKinney and Commissioner LaDon Linde in their individual capacity.

In the lawsuit, she alleged the commissioners discussed the ordinance in private and requested health district staff to draft a resolution reflecting the new ordinance in email exchanges that constituted a quorum.

The local changes to the health board makeup were put on hold as a new state law took effect governing the composition of health boards.

Commissioner Ron Anderson, who is not running for election, recently entered a settlement agreement in a different OPMA violation lawsuit.

All three commission seats are up for election this year following a lawsuit alleging the county’s voting system disenfranchises Latinos.

McKinney’s seat is the only one up for a full four-year term.

Contact Kate Smith at katesmith@yakimaherald.com.

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