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Few choices for county voters

By AMY NILE

anile@chinookobserver.com

Published on October 31, 2017 4:49PM


SOUTH BEND — Voters in Pacific County won’t have much say in who’s elected to represent them on Tuesday.

There’s only one candidate on the Nov. 7 ballot for almost three-quarters of the open offices. Of the 69 races, 54 are uncontested.

About a third of the local candidates, 30 of 86, are facing a challenger in the general election.


Ports


Among the contested races is one for a six-year term serving the Port of Peninsula as a commissioner. Retired port manager Mary DeLong, 65, facing a challenge for her seat on the three-member commission from former Bank of the Pacific president Dennis A. Long, 68.

Four candidates are running uncontested in commission races at three other local ports. There are two open positions on the commission at Port of Chinook. The ports of Willapa Harbor and Ilwaco each have one available office.


Ilwaco


In Ilwaco, longtime City Councilman and volunteer firefighter Gary Forner, 70, is vying against nurse and educator Sam Lund, 69, for a four-year term as mayor.

Candidates for the four open seats on the five-member council are running unopposed.

Councilman Matthew Lessnau, 29, Melissa “Missy” Bageant, 38, and Jared Oakes, 37, are making their debut on the ballot. Lessnau was appointed earlier this year so he’s running for office for the first time with two council newcomers.

Councilman Fred Marshall, 78, is the only veteran Ilwaco leader seeking re-election this year. He hopes to serve a fourth term.


Long Beach


Candidates are competing for two of the three City Council positions in Long Beach.

Councilwoman Holli Kemmer, 44, faces a challenge to keep the seat from former Councilman Mark Perez, 63. He gave up position for an unsuccessful campaign for mayor against Jerry Phillips in 2015.

Kemmer was appointed to replace Phillips on the council when he took the helm in 2016.

Political newcomers Boys & Girls Club program planner Kevin “Isa” Cline, 35, and Sid’s Market cashier John Nechvatal, 70, are competing to serve a four-year term on the council.

Councilwoman Tina McGuire, 51, is running unopposed for a two-year term.


North County


In Raymond, Mayor Steve Jones, 61, faces opponent Douglas “Tony” Nordin, 76, for a four-year term. There’s also competition for one of the five City Council seats.

In South Bend, Mayor Julie Struck, 58, is running unopposed. All four of the City Council races are contested.


Fire, hospitals and schools


There’s no competition for fire commissioners with all nine candidates on the ballot unopposed.

Two hopefuls are vying for commissioner in one of three Willapa Harbor Hospital District races. The other two are uncontested.

The Ocean Beach Hospital District also has two candidates running unopposed.

Voters in the North River, Raymond, Naselle Grays River and Pe Ell school districts will have a choice in one of three races for each school board.

Nine candidates for school board in the Ocean Beach, South Bend, Ocosta, and Willapa Valley districts have no competition.


Parks, water and sewer


The ten candidates on the ballot to serve parks, water and sewer districts are running unopposed.

Ballots need to be postmarked on or before Nov. 7. They must be returned by 8 p.m. Tuesday to one of the three drop boxes or to the County Courthouse.

The Auditor’s Office will stay open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on election day.



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