A Lebanon city councilor has filed to run for mayor and two incumbents will have their positions challenged in November.
Gamael Nassar, a council appointee, insurance broker, and booster of the community’s annual Strawberry Festival turned in paperwork for the mayoral race, effectively ending his tenure representing Ward 2 with the end of his term on Dec. 31.
Kenneth Jackola, a former sergeant major who served in the US Army and Oregon Army National Guard, and previously the owner of Snow Peak Industries — a company that operated a gas station and deli near Lebanon that went defunct in 2017, has also filed for a run for mayor.
Both candidates are on the city’s list of certified filings headed to the Linn County Clerk’s office next week, City Recorder Kim Scheafer said.
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“Whoever wins will be sworn in at the first meeting in January,” Scheafer said.
Wards 1, 2 and 3
Cassie Cruze, a program manager at the Lebanon Downtown Association; a US Navy veteran named Ryan Newby; and city planning commissioner David Workman filed to run for Nassar’s seat.
In Ward 1, incumbent Wayne Rieskamp faces competition in Tami Cockeram, a retired Washington County and City of Hillsboro employee, and Oregon Department of Corrections employee and Army veteran Carl Mann.
Rieskamp took 606 votes to win by more than 10 points in a race against Ralph Gaston in 2010 and ran unopposed in 2014 and 2018.
Michelle Steinhebel will run unopposed as the incumbent for her Ward 3 seat.
Voters sent Steinhebel to the council with 1,119 votes, more than two and three times the points of opponents Duston Denver and Greg Nervino. The council selected Steinhebel to serve as its president after Ward 3 co-councilor Jason Bolen resigned in April.
Write-ins a possibility
Oregon begins mailing ballots to voters Oct. 19.
No paperwork is required for anyone who wants to run a write-in campaign, Scheafer said. But anyone elected running a write-in campaign must sign a form that ensures they meet the same requirements to run as their opponents do.
“So if someone lived outside the city limits but ran a write-in, they still wouldn’t qualify for office,” Scheafer said.
Alex Powers (he/him) covers business, environment and healthcare for Mid-Valley Media. Call 541-812-6116 or email Alex.Powers@lee.net.