Yakima County auditor weighs in on controversial school board race

YAKIMA, Wash. -- This was Jeni Rice, probable winner of Position 1 on Yakima's School Board, telling KIMA reporter Ada Chong what steps she took to bow out from the race:

"I believe I called the auditor's office and informed them of my intent to withdraw. They said that I need to contact the state directly to go through the process. So, I contacted the state, sent them a letter via email stating my intent and they said that was sufficient. And, at that point, I thought I was out."

It seems that's not the case. I took Rice's story to Yakima County Auditor Corky Holloway. "I checked with every staff member and no one dealt with her, except when she came in to file," she said.

Holloway also said she never would have recommended Rice contact the Secretary of State. "Anybody in elections would know that it isn't the Secretary of State's office that you file with or resign from running with. It's the county, because you're running in the county and the county controls elections."

Rice also told KIMA that she now intends to serve if she still can. But, the confusion over her bid for office has parents with kids in school concerned.

"She thought she had withdrawn and then she found out that she won and she decided to go ahead and follow through with it," said Tina Krebs. "It seems kind of wishy-washy."

It now looks like Rice will get the job. Yakima's school board president tells KIMA the board will treat the results as valid once they're certified, clearing the way for Rice to take her place in December.