NASELLE - A political newcomer and two veteran school board members filed for the three positions open for election on the Naselle-Grays River Valley School Board of Directors. The open filing period was last week, July 28 through Aug. 1, for the election which will be held this fall.

The first to file, for Director District 1 currently held by Robert Torppa, was Steve Sultemeier of Grays River. He was followed at midweek by incumbent Gilbert Haataia of Naselle, filing to complete the unexpired term for Director District 4. Arne Wirkkala of Naselle filed for Director District 3, currently held by Steve Gacke. The filing of those three individuals made it a certainty that there would be a candidate for each of the three school director offices on the fall ballot.

Sultemeier, a Pacific County Sheriff's Office jail superintendent who lives in the Grays River area of the school district, filed to run for his first elective office.

Haataia, a retired truck driver and who was a member of the school board for eight years, filed to complete the unexpired term to which he was appointed by the board this spring.

Wirkkala, one of the owners of the Naselle Rock and Asphalt Company and a school board member for eight years through 2001, until he chose not to run, has filed for the position currently held by Gacke. All three will run unopposed.

The two school board positions which are not up for election this fall are Director District 2 held by Bill Coop of Rosburg and Director District 5 held by Deanna Gjovik of Nemah.

The incumbents in two other positions of local interest also filed to run in the fall election. They are Bud Strange for Fire Protection District 4 (Naselle), Commissioner Position 2 (six year term) and Darren M. Thorsen for Public Hospital District 3, Commissioner District 5 (Naselle, 6 year term). Both Strange and Thorsen will run unopposed in the fall election.

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