Barron ousts Hemphill in Wenatchee school district race

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Martin Marron, left, and Sunny Hemphill

WENATCHEE — Two incumbents on the Wenatchee School Board appeared headed for the door Tuesday night as district voters opted for change — in one case, overturning a school board president they just voted into office two years ago.

Sunny Hemphill, 63, lost Tuesday’s vote to challenger Martin Barron, who was well ahead with 64 percent of the vote. Hemphill joined the board and became chair after the 2017 election. She was one of three newcomers who campaigned that year as school district reformers.

Barron, 71, pulled down 3,328 votes in Tuesday’s count to Hemphill’s 1,820. Her fellow boardmember Karina Vega Villa, 37, lost to Tim Larson, a challenger who moved out of the district after filing to run.

Although Larson cannot serve, his commanding 56-43 percent lead would force Vega Villa from office, leaving her seat to be filled by a board appointment in January. Vega Villa herself was just appointed by the board in January,

Laura Jaecks, 59, is the only incumbent guaranteed to keep her seat, holding 61 percent over challenger Meliesa Tigard’s 38 percent.

In Wenatchee’s City Council races, Linda Herald will return to City Hall as an at-large councilmember — the first elected to represent all residents since the city moved to district-based voting last year.

Herald, 67, directs the Wenatchee Convention Center and has served on the city council since 2012. She currently represents District 1, but lives in District 3, which is not up for election until 2021. She overcame Jorge
Chacón, a 75-year-old professional counselor, with 63 percent.

Jorge Luis Cuevas will become South Wenatchee’s first official council representative, defeating Roberto Vargas-Mata in District 1 with 61 percent. Travis Hornby took the District 4 seat over Melanie Wachholder, 58 to 41 percent.