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Challengers File For Three Port Seats

Port of Astoria Commission positions have generated three hot races as a result of candidate filings that closed Thursday.

Incumbent Larry Pfund, who has served on the Port Commission nearly 12 years, filed for re-election March 14. Challenging him will be James T. Campbell, owner of Campbell Towing & Marine Construction.

For Position 2, being vacated by Floyd Holcom, Stephen Fulton of Astoria, former Warrenton Mayor Gil Gramson and David Maki of Astoria will battle it out. Fulton works on land development and wetland mitigation issues for Warrenton Fiber Co. Gramson has been the city manager, mayor and city commissioner for Warrenton. Maki, a retired operating engineers union worker, is a regular attendee at Port meetings.

For Position 5, being vacated by Dan Hess after about 16 years, Richard Gerttula of Astoria, Brad Smithart of Astoria and Mark Mead of Warrenton will square off.

Gerttula is owner and principal of PR Marine Support Services and used to work for Foss Environmental. Smithart owns and operates the Astoria Riverwalk Inn on Port property overlooking the West End Mooring Basin. Mead is a resident of Warrenton and owns Mead Engineering, LLC.

Sunset Empire Transportation

Running unopposed for Sunset Empire Transportation board positions are Neal Smith, of Warrenton, Kathy Kleczek of Cannon Beach and current chairman of the board, Paul Lewicki of Astoria. Competing for Position 2 are Ken Mancebo, of Gearhart and Kevin Widner, of Tolovana Park.

The May election will also include an amendment to the city of Warrenton charter allowing for direct election of mayors, a Clatskanie Rural Fire Protection District levy as well as three other tax options and levies for rural fire protection districts in the county.

Only one Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District board seat is contested. Marti Wajc will compete with George Stacey. Running unopposed are Tom Horning for Position 2, Michael Hinton for Position 3 and Ruth Johnson for Position 5.


All incumbents of the Clatsop Community College Board of Directors are running unopposed. Those include Rosemary Baker-Monaghan, Frank Satterwhite and Patrick Wingard, who was chosen by the board in October to replace Stephen Berk.

The Astoria School Board will have two contested races. Grace Laman, who interviewed late last year for the school board position vacated by Laura Snyder, will get another shot as she runs against Janice Horning for Position 1 being vacated by Brad Pope, who’s been on the board for nearly eight years. Jeanette Sampson, who was selected in October to replace Snyder at Position 4, will run against Cameron Brister, president of the Pacific Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. Laurie Choate will run unopposed for Position 5.

The Warrenton-Hammond School Board will have one contested race. David Goldthorpe, deputy district attorney for Clatsop County, will run against Adam Neahring, a project engineer and estimator for Bergerson Construction, for Position 4. Meanwhile, Kelly Simonsen, Darlene Warren and Len Mossman will run unopposed for positions 3, 6 and 7, respectively.

On the Knappa School Board, incumbents Cullen Bangs and Craig Weaver will run unopposed for positions 3 and 4, respectively. Newcomer Cindy Sapp, who’s also taught in Astoria, will run unopposed for Position 5, being vacated by Ben Bartlett.

On the Jewell School Board, Matt Armstrong, who was appointed March 20, 2012, to replace Sherrine Marlow at Position 2, will run against Michael Stahly, who has also served on the school’s budget committee. Incumbent Bryan Swearingen will run unopposed for Position 4.

This story originally appeared in Daily Astorian.

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