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Update: Richard Kidd may have two other well-known challengers in bid for Washington County Board of Commissioners

Richard Kidd is closing one political door in hopes that he can open another. The longtime Forest Grove mayor told the News-Times on Wednesday that he will step down from his city post in October and plans to run for the Washington County Board of Commissioners.


'It's an opportunity to represent residents of Gaston and Banks and Cornelius as well as Forest Grove,' Kidd said. 'We've come a long way in Forest Grove, and the leadership there can continue on in a positive direction.'

Kidd said he began thinking about the county post when incumbent Commissioner Andy Duyck began talking about stepping down. With Duyck's retirement plans made public this week, Kidd was quick to make his own move, informing council members of his plans earlier this week.

But he's not alone in eyeing the county slot, which will be up for election next year.

Bob Terry, owner of Fisher Farms Nursery in Gaston, told the News-Times that he, too, plans to run for the county board. Though Terry has never held elective office, he's long been active in the Republican Party politics and has served eight years on the Washington County Budget Committee.

Forest Grove Councilor Elena Uhing said Thursday that she also is considering a county bid. If elected, she said she'd place a great emphasis on boosting transportation on the county's west side than Duyck has.

"Andy has served well," said Uhing, who was elected to the council five years ago and previously served on the city planning commission. "But, particularly in these economic times, western Washington County needs to have a strong voice at the county."

Terry, for his part, said Duyck has done a great job on the board.

'I wouldn't be doing this if Andy was running again,' he said. 'Andy is a fiscal conservative and so am I,' said Terry. 'We've done fairly well at the county providing services while keeping a reserve. We've been very responsible with taxpayers' money and want to make sure we remain responsible.'

Terry, who lives on Bald Peak, is the past president of the Oregon Association of Nurseries and a founding member of the Oregon Leadership Roundtable, a group of Republicans who organized last year in an effort to boost the party's electoral efforts the state.

Although the Washington County Commission is technically non-partisan, observers keep track of the party allegiance of its members. If Kidd or Uhing, both Democrats, were to win, they'd join fellow Ds Dick Schouten and Desari Strader (who's up for re-election in the fall), forming the first Democratic majority on the board in recent memory.

But Kidd and Uhing may have an uphill battle. Duyck has already endorsed Terry, who he says will be more fiscally conservative than Kidd.

'I believe Bob will stand firm on issues of importance, he's not someone who gives in simply to get along,' Duyck said.

Kidd, in turn, said he hopes to garner support from many of the local officials he's worked with over the years.

As for Kidd's Forest Grove post, the vacancy will be filled by an appointment from the city council.

Councilor Pete Truax, the mayor pro-tem, is the most likely to be chosen, though Truax said Thursday that while he'd accept the job, he hadn't decided if he'd run for a full term.

'I'm not counting any chickens,' said Truax, who last month led discussions on a revised poultry ordinance in Forest Grove. 'No pun intended.'

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