A grocery store owner and a mortgage broker are interested in vying for Mike Leita’s seat on the Yakima County Commission.

Leita is retiring in December with a year left in his term.

Under state law, an incumbent’s party nominates three potential replacements. Remaining commissioners Ron Anderson and Norm Childress will make the final decision after Leita leaves office.

Local Republican Party leaders have opened the field for potential candidates. Vicki Baker and Amanda McKinney have shown interest.

Both said they’d seek to retain the post in the 2020 election if selected.

Baker owns Grocery Outlet with her husband. McKinney is a mortgage broker with Caliber Home Loans.

Candidates must be registered voters and live in District 1, which includes much of Terrace Heights, north and west Yakima and the Upper Valley.

Yakima County Republican precinct committee officers, who make up the local Republican Central Committee, will meet on Oct. 3 to pick three nominees.

Party Chairwoman Debra Manjarrez expects the field of candidates to broaden before that meeting.

“I am encouraging anyone with any interest in helping make Yakima County a great place to live to throw their hat in the ring,” she wrote in a news release.

The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. at the Howard Johnson Plaza, 9 N. Ninth St. in Yakima. It is open to the public.

Those interested in applying should contact Manjarrez at 509-949-4268 or manjarrez@manjarrezcpa.com. The deadline is Sept. 22.