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Raines expected to announce candidacy for county commissioner

MONTESANO — Cosmopolis Mayor Vickie Raines is expected to announce her candidacy for Grays Harbor County commissioner on Thursday, becoming the first candidate to throw her hat in the ring for what very well could be a competitive seat.

Raines is planning a campaign event Thursday evening. She didn’t want to talk about her decision until after her formal announcement.

Candidate filing isn’t until May of next year.

Grays Harbor County District No. 3 consists of Cosmopolis, Hoquiam, Ocean Shores, Amanda Park, Taholah and the rest of the North Beach area. Cosmopolis is a new addition to the district done during re-districting two years ago since the Aberdeen area had grown larger since the 2000 U.S. Census.

Incumbent Commissioner Herb Welch has not yet made it clear if he’ll run for the seat again. He said he may make an announcement next week.

Raines has been mayor of Cosmopolis since December of 2002 and has been re-elected three times. Prior to running for mayor, Raines had served on the Cosmopolis City Council.

She has built a reputation of building bridges, working with the Chehalis Basin Flood Authority as its chairman and helping to mediate personality clashes so that the group can get work done; and serving as a prior leader of the Grays Harbor Council of Governments and successfully convincing many local governments to retain its funding of the organization at a time of budget cuts. She also helped get the county’s mayors together for regular meetings.

She works as a financial consultant in Montesano and is married and has three kids.