General Election ballots to be mailed on Friday

HR candidates start ‘Office Hours’ café appearances Thursday; forum added Oct. 23

General Election ballots go out Friday to 11,270 voters in Hood River County. Expect it in the mail Saturday or Monday.

The ballot contains a wide range of state, local and federal races, two local tax levies, and seven statewide ballot measures including those approving legalization of marijuana and requiring product labeling for food made with genetically modified ingredients.

Ballots are due by 8 p.m. Nov. 4. (See page A10 for “Need to Know” on the ballots.)

Contests on the ballot include Paul Blackburn and Greg Colt running for Hood River mayor and a City Council race with seven candidates seeking three positions. Also on the ballot are State Representative and State House positions in which the Republican incumbents, both of Hood River, seek third terms. Rep. Mark Johnson is challenged by Democrat Stephanie Nystrom of Corbett and Sen. Chuck Thomsen faces Robert Bruce of Sandy.

West Side Fire District voters and Cascade Locks city voters will also determine tax measures aimed at supporting firefighter and EMT services; West Side proposes a Local Option Levy of 50 cents on the thousand, while Cascade Locks proposes a fee that will be added to municipal electrical bills, ranging from $6-9 per month.

Voters in the City of Hood River will be able to hear directly from mayor and council candidates in three public events, including the newly-announced Oct. 23 candidate forum organized by Gorge Ecumenical Ministries (GEM), an interfaith organization comprised of area faith communities and churches.

It will take place at 6:30 p.m. at Riverside Community Church, Fourth and State streets, and will feature candidates for Hood River mayor, State Senator and State representative. Spanish language interpretation will be provided.

A candidate reception followed by a mayor debate will take place Oct. 22 at Dog River Coffee, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Dog River and the Hood River Chamber of Commerce are hosting. Laurie Stephens will moderate.

This will be the first election appearance involving mayor candidates Paul Blackburn and Greg Colt, and council candidates Dave Bick, Becky Brun, Peter Cornelison, Tim Counihan, Susan Johnson, Bob Palmer and Joe Sheahan.

The debate will be the first mayoral face-off since the 2008 race between Arthur Babitz, then a city council member, and Bob Palmer. Babitz won the race and served as mayor for three two-year terms. He decided not to run in 2014.

Starting Oct. 16, the candidates will also be scheduling “Office Hours.” That’s the name of a new series of “meet and greet” sessions with Hood River individual candidates for mayor and City Council at two cafes in downtown Hood River. (See schedule below.)

All seven council candidates and both mayor hopefuls are on board for the morning gatherings at Dog River Coffee, 411 Oak St., and the evening sessions at Celilo Restaurant, 16 Oak St.

The Oct. 22 forum will be at 7 p.m. at Dog River. The venue has plenty of seating, and coffee and beer are available for sale – but no purchase is necessary. Parking is available on street, or one block south at the Hood River News parking lot.

In “Office Hours,” starting Oct. 16, the candidate will host a meeting at the time and dates listed, and anyone from the public is welcome to visit, ask questions and get to know their candidates for City Council and Mayoral positions.

In most cases, the candidates appear more than once, and some open slots may be filled later. (See Oct. 18 Hood River News for updates.)

Office Hours schedule

Dog River, 9 to 11 a.m.; Celilo, 5 to 7 p.m.

Oct. 13

Dog River — Bob Palmer

Celilo — Susan Johnson

Oct. 14

Dog River — Paul Blackburn

Celilo — Peter Cornelison

Oct. 15

Dog River — Greg Colt

Celilo — Joe Sheahan

Oct. 16

Dog River — Joe Sheahan

Celilo — Paul Blackburn

Oct. 20

Dog River – Susan Johnson

Celilo – Bob Palmer

Oct. 21

Dog River and Celilo – Becky Brun

Oct. 22

Dog River – Dave Bick

Oct. 27

Dog River – Peter Cornelison

Celilo – Tim Counihan

Oct. 28

Celilo – Greg Colt

Oct. 29

Celilo – Dave Bick



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