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posted Oct 31, 2015, 4:15 PM by Douglas County Democrats


There are currently 18,666 registered voters in Douglas County (~38,894 in Chelan Co).  Many elections are decided by as few as 30-50% of the registered voters.  Some candidates win or lose by only a few votes.  Please complete and return your ballot by the deadlines below.  Ballot box locations can be found via this link.  Your voice matters.  Make sure your vote is counted!   

Your ballot must be:

·         Postmarked no later than Election Day; or

·         Returned to a designated ballot drop box by 8 p.m. on Election Day; or

·         Returned in person to your county elections department by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Need help understanding a ballot measure or knowing more about the candidates?  Voter information may be referenced via numerous helpful websites.  Here are just a few (hyperlinks embedded):

Washington Secretary of State Online Voter’s Guide (multiple languages)

Washington State Democrats—Endorsement Finder (no local Chelan/Douglas Co endorsements)

Progressive Voter’s Guide (a project of FUSE Washington)

Washington State Labor Council—The Stand

The Wenatchee World—collection of articles, endorsements, and video-taped interviews


For a number of years, the Douglas County Democrats have invited candidates who are running in contested races to participate in a candidate forum.  This year, the forum was held on October 7 and eight candidates spoke, providing information about themselves to a full-house of interested voters. 

We also invited all candidates running for election, whether the race is partisan or nonpartisan and whether the candidate is a Democrat or Republican (or prefers not to declare), to submit written statements.  Six candidates (of 90) responded to our request.  These statements are published below for the readers’ information.  At this time, no endorsement by the Douglas County Democratic Central Committee is offered or implied. 

2015 Candidate Statements provided to Douglas County Democrats: 

Douglas County Fire District No 2, Commissioner Position #1: Ettore Castellente (incumbent), candidate 

Introduction and Office I am Seeking:

I am Ettore Castellente, Fire Commissioner with Douglas County Fire District #2 (DCFD 2) and I am asking you to please retain me in this position so that I may continue to serve our community with my experience and proven passion for our fire district. 

My Continued Interest in this Position:

Prior to my January 2014 appointment to this board I proudly served our district for over 3 years as an interested citizen volunteer in a leadership role in the development of a strategic planning process. This plan, now in place, clearly addresses the current and projected needs of the district that will guide us in the preparation for and delivery of emergency services.

 My Years of Experience:

Prior to my service with DCFD 2, I served as a chief with Thurston County Fire District #6 for 11 years ensuring sound annual budgets and conservative spending in accordance with the RCWs of Washington State. One of my proud accomplishments was to create a new combination volunteer and paid response team providing excellent fire and emergency medical services to over 30,000 citizens. In this position I participated in and chaired many countywide committees to include Thurston County Medic One and various emergency management and fire/law enforcement planning committees.

Prior to that position, I served as a chief and fire investigator with the Portage Fire Department in Portage, Wisconsin where I created a professional environment for both paid and volunteer firefighters that provided various fire and specialized rescue services to citizens within 170 square miles of rural and urban communities. I was recently honored by this fire department for creating an innovative and successful fire prevention program. 

Before I became a fire chief in 1991, I was a career fire officer and paramedic with the Philadelphia Fire Department, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania starting in 1972.

1983 to present, I am a training specialist contractor with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

I strongly believe that a collective 17 years of sound budget management as both a chief and commissioner is an important consideration in selecting a commissioner to continue serving you and our entire fire district.

Continued Motivation to Serve in this Position:

During my last 5 years as an administrative volunteer and commissioner with DCFD 2, I have been blessed with meeting and working with the amazing people that serve our community within this proud district, both administrative and operational. Additionally, meeting our citizens throughout our community, especially at our open house celebrations, has convinced me that I still have a deep desire, passion, and commitment to continue serving you as commissioner.

If Elected:

Your vote to retain me as your commissioner will support the progress underway to ensure that your fire district can continue to appropriately serve our growing community. I will continue to proudly serve with the other seated commissioners in our mission to ensure a professional standard of emergency services to our citizens.

I appreciate your consideration to retain me as your fire commissioner.

(Also reference candidate’s additional comments on


Douglas County Fire District No 2 Commissioner, Position #1: Rick McBride, candidate

My name is Rick McBride and I am running for Fire Commissioner in Douglas County Fire District 2 position 1. My wife (of 31 years) and I have lived in East Wenatchee for over 23 years and are proud parents of four children that all grew up and advanced through the East Wenatchee School District. I have been an active member of the East Wenatchee community by participating in our church's youth groups, coaching youth sports, and recently serving as a citizen on an Advisory Committee for Douglas County Fire District 2. I'm a career firefighter and member of the Wenatchee Valley Firefighter's Union IAFF Local #453. I have over 33 years of experience in the fire service, ranging from time spent as a volunteer up to my current position as a Captain with a local fire department in the Wenatchee Valley.  

As a Fire Commissioner, I will bring a true firefighter's perspective to the governing board of the fire district. I believe in the need to improve the services provided by the fire district and will work tirelessly to make that possible. 

The Wenatchee Valley Firefighter's Union IAFF Local #453 along with the Douglas County Professional Firefighters IAFF Local #4197 have endorsed and support me as Fire Commissioner for Douglas County Fire District 2. 

Thank you.

Rick McBride


Douglas County Fire District #2 Commissioner, Position #2: Dawn Collings (Incumbent), candidate running unopposed 

I have served on a number of boards and committees, and believe my experience with such, as well as my experience as a former Councilmember and Mayor of East Wenatchee, are an asset to the Fire District.  I own a small, home-based custom gift basket business -- “A Real Basket Case LLC”, and I am also the Manager of the Cashmere Chamber of Commerce.  I have experience in local government, contract negotiations, public relations, bond issues, management, marketing, and fundraising.

I was looking for an opportunity to give back to my community, and saw the posting to fill an unexpired term on the Douglas County Fire District #2 Board of Commissioners.  Having worked with the Fire District during my time with the City of East Wenatchee, I thought the vacant position might be the perfect fit for me, given my background.  I was subsequently appointed to fill the position.

There are three major issues facing Douglas County Fire District #2 – facilities, staffing, and equipment.  In order to continue providing the level of quality service that we have for many years, the department needs to be able to grow in the same manner as the community.  I am proud of the department and would be honored to continue to serve as Commissioner.

(Also reference candidate’s additional comments on


Eastmont School District Director, Position #2 (by permission from John Brangwin, candidate

John Brangwin (N) Attorney at Law

Address 2513 Fancher Landing````East Wenatchee``WA``98802

Phone (509) 884-5740


Town where you live East Wenatchee


Experience (300 characters max)

Successful small business owner for over 12 years. Attorney at Law since 1997, all in Wenatchee. Founding Partner of the law firm Woods & Brangwin, PLLC. Graduated with honors from Gonzaga Law after obtaining an undergrad at CWU. Married (Anne) with one daughter (13), Eastmont student since 1st.

Of three major issues facing your district, which one is the most urgent?

We need to make sure we are providing the highest caliber education to all ability levels. Currently there seems to be a "middle of the road" approach that doesn't serve the low, main stream or high achievers. "Leveling" should be the standard in all buildings, and magnet classrooms and buildings should be created.

What is your position on Charter Schools as a part of your public school system?

I'd like to see Eastmont start a magnet school--with standardized dress and rigorous academics and activities---as a publicly funded alternative to charter schools.

What is your position on testing of your students?

For students to take the minimum number of standardized tests possible without losing state or federal funding. We need to focus more on teaching and experiences rather than testing.

What is your opinion on "start times" for elementary and secondary school?

Eastmont should explore later start times for all grades, but especially high school. Our kids simply aren't getting enough sleep.

How should bullying be addressed?

I need to learn more about this issue. I am not aware there is a current problem that isn't being addressed by Eastmont administration. 

What would be your plan to see that your school district students earn their civics credit required by the new state law?

There's no better way to learn civics than to see it first hand, in the community. The district should work collaboratively with all branches of government to show students civics first-hand through site visits and community service projects.

What is your opinion of student suspension for classroom disruption?

I have always found it ironic that we "punish" bad student behavior and even skipping school through suspensions. I think there are better ways to keep order and accomplish our mission than suspension and exclusion of misbehaving students. Such punishment should be a last resort.

Eastmont School District Director, Position #5 (at-large):  Steve Piccirillo, candidate


Who Are you?                                                  

Steve Piccirillo

For which office are you running?          

Eastmont School Board Position #5 (At Large)


Why do seek this office?

I seek to serve the best interest

s of the students, staff, and taxpayers of the Eastmont School District by providing common sense solutions to the issues facing the District. As the parent of an Eastmont student my work on the Board is balanced with my own children's experience within the District. If re-elected, I will continue to work to ensure that the Eastmont School District provides the best possible learning environment for every student.

What experience & motivations do you "bring to the table"?

I have four years experience as a School Board member, the past two as the Board's President. This experience, coupled with my professional back ground (small business ownership, law enforcement) and as a parent of students in the District gives me a very balanced and broad background for fulfilling my responsibilities as a School Board member. As for what motivates me, that's simple, the students. In every decision we make as a School Board our first priority is, and always should be, the best interests of our students.

If elected, what specific goals will you try to achieve?

The school board is a unique governing body while each member has their own voice, the only actions it can take is as a whole. My opinions are voiced on various issues during discussion and debate, but as a single member I can achieve little, if anything. As an active member of the Board I will continue to seek to be deliberate, thoughtful, and compassionate in word and action.  If re-elected I will work to improve student achievement, improve graduation rates, and provide on a daily basis a safe, secure, and enriching learning environment for both our students and staff.

(Also reference candidate’s additional comments on


Bridgeport School District Director, Position #4: Wayne van Zwoll (incumbent), candidate

reasons for running: As in my previous terms in this post, I'm keen to deliver the best education possible with the resources at hand, to increase those resources without unduly burdening local taxpayers and to ensure the school district is run efficiently.

experience and motivations: Both my parents were educators, and, while earning my doctorate, I taught at university. I organized and taught, as volunteer, an advanced course on writing at Bridgeport High School, and an archery component to its P.E. program. I firmly believe education is the doorway to opportunity, and that students must be both challenged and encouraged academically in school. My own career as a journalist has convinced me of the power of writing; my service on the school board has shown me the fiscal and cultural hurdles in this district, and effective ways to approach them.

goals: Without interfering with Bridgeport School District staff, and as a "team member" of the School Board, I'll work to keep student achievement levels on their current climb, and to improve academic performance where it lags. I'll urge aggressive pursuit of grants and other auxiliary funding sources to keep local school tax burdens at reasonable levels, while ensuring that all funds are spent responsibly, with accountability. I'll help the administration make the District more attractive to the best teachers, to increase recruitment and retain staff members who can, with longer tenure, contribute more effectively.