LaDon Linde

LaDon Linde

YAKIMA — LaDon Linde of Sunnyside has been named the new Yakima County District 3 Commissioner.

He was selected by the County Commissioners Ron Anderson and Vicki Baker following a 15-minute executive session held Tuesday morning.

Linde, Astria Sunnyside Hospital Medical Staff Director, will be sworn in with in the coming week, according Commission Chairman Anderson.

“I’m humbled to be chosen and am grateful for the support I received from the Republican Precinct Committee Officers and for all the phone calls, letters of support and endorsements,” Linde said during a pause in the commission meeting, where he was planning to continue listening to the proceedings.

“I’m staying on because they are going to be talking about the county budget and I better start getting acquainted with it,” he added.

“I’m glad for the opportunity the commissioners have given me,” Linde expressed.

The next steps in the process, from naming the replacement to the swearing in ceremony, Anderson said.

He said Linde will begin learning his new position on the job and will almost immediately start campaigning to retain the spot in January, Anderson conveyed of the fulltime governmental job. The position is a 4-year term.

Other commission changes

With more than 73.92% of the ballots counted in Yakima County by Friday, Nov. 6, local races for the county commission were finalized showing that sitting District 1 Commissioner Vicki Baker will be replaced by challenger Amanda McKinney. McKinney garnered more than 54.28% of the votes to claim the spot.

Baker had led the charge to find ways to get the Yakima County businesses open by talking to politicians and businessmen while seeking ways to make opening businesses safe and workable during the COVID-19 statewide shut down.

Baker had been appointed to the position in January replacing retiring commissioner Mike Leita. She will leave that position once the vote is certified on Nov. 24, County Commissioner Ron Anderson said. At that time McKinney will be sworn into her new role.

In conceding her loss, Baker said it had been a tremendous honor to serve the county for the past year.

“I’m not a politician and don’t ever want to be. I did this job because I wanted to help the people, and Commissioners can have a large impact on people’s lives,” she said in a written statement.

“Ultimately the votes indicate that I need to concede my race and wish success to a new Commissioner,” Baker wrote.

She further stated she had no regrets about the 10 months she served on the commission, adding “…navigating our county through this crisis safely and advancing into phase 2 and beyond has been critically important and fulfilling work.”

As her last act as a commissioner, she and Anderson – who ran unopposed – selected Linde to replace the late Norm Childress, who died last month. “Norm left a big void on the commission with his huge knowledge. It was a pleasure to work with him,” Baker communicated.

“Making the selection was a difficult decision,” Anderson said, saying all the candidates received a lot of support from the community.

The commission had three candidates from which to choose – Linde, Autumn Torres, Human Resources Director of Moxee, and Jim Restucci, Sunnyside City Council member, who also served on the state’s Transportation Commission and is the Yakima Valley Conference of Government’s chairman.

Julia Hart can be reached at 509-837-4500, ext. 123 or at jhart@sunnysidesun.com

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