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Third auditor candidate is found

The stalled effort to produce a new Island County Auditor is back on track now that a third candidate has been found.

Kathy Jones, chairwoman of the Island County Republican Party, announced Tuesday afternoon that Langley resident Andrew Loehr, whom Jones met at the Oak Harbor Yacht Club, has joined the competition to see who replaces Suzanne Sinclair, who left at the end of December for a new job in New York state.

The Republican Party will publicly interview and list the candidates by order of preference and then submit the names to the Island County Commissioners for a decision.

Loehr lists his most recent experience as sales and marketing director for the Victoria Express tour and ferry company. His long resume includes jobs as a Realtor as well as a salesman for various scientific companies. He has college degrees in chemical technology and chemistry.

The field for the auditor’s position also includes Art Hyland, the former county auditor from 1990 to 1997 who wants to return to the job after years in the private sector; and Susan Engstrom, a long-time county employee who presently manages the Permit Center at the county’s Camano Annex.

The Republicans originally planned to meet with the auditor candidates Jan. 5, but then Eric Gerber, an Oak Harbor city councilman, dropped out. Since the law requires three, Jones started a long search that culminated in Tuesday’s announcement.

The candidates will be interviewed and prioritized by Republican leaders on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 7 p.m. at party headquarters, 390 Midway Blvd., Oak Harbor. The public is welcome to observe.

The following day, Jan. 23, the Island County commissioners will interview the candidates in public, discuss their merits in private, and then publicly announce their selection. The process begins at 6 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Hearing Room in the Island County Courthouse, Coupeville.

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