Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Two city councilors so far are vying to succeed longtime Mayor Pete Truax, who isn't running for re-election.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Tim RippeAnother Forest Grove city councilor says he'll run for mayor.

Tim Rippe told Pamplin Media Group on Tuesday, June 14, that he plans to file for the position. He joins Malynda Wenzl, Forest Grove City Council president, in the race after Wenzl said last week she would run for mayor.

The mayor's race is wide-open this fall due to the retirement of longtime incumbent Pete Truax.

Rippe was first elected to the Forest Grove City Council in 2016. He won re-election in 2020 and is midway through his second term.

In discussing his bid for mayor, Rippe mentioned his involvement with regional working groups and organizations like the League of Oregon Cities and the Westside Economic Alliance.

"Forest Grove is a smaller city in a county that's got some very large cities and some large corporations," Rippe said, adding, "Forest Grove simply needs to be at the table, and I've spent the last six years building up those networks and those relationships."

Rippe said he and Wenzl bring different experiences, skillsets and backgrounds to the race.

"We have a collegial, cordial relationship on council," Rippe said. "I wouldn't say necessarily that I'm running against her; I just think there are certain skills I provide."

Wenzl was first elected to the City Council in 2014, winning re-election in 2018. Following the death of longtime council president Tom Johnston, she was elected as council president in 2020 and has held the position ever since.

Rippe is a U.S. Army veteran with a background in finance and supply chain management. Wenzl is a teacher and leadership advisor at Neil Armstrong Elementary School.

Rippe pointed to his work in helping to secure state and federal money for transportation and public safety projects, including improvements to Pacific Avenue in between Safeway and Goodwill.

"Forest Grove is a growing town. It's got a lot of potential. It's got a lot of great characteristics," Rippe said.

He added, "As we grow, we need to make sure that we grow not just the housing … but our commercial and industrial base as well, so we meet the needs of residents."

The election is Nov. 8. The candidate filing period officially opens July 11.

Three other seats on the City Council will be filled in the November election as well, including Wenzl's. Councilors Kristy Kottkey and Mariana Valenzuela are up for election also.

In Forest Grove, councilors are elected from a single list, with the three top vote-getters in each election being awarded seats on the council. The mayor is elected separately from the rest of the council.

Truax told Pamplin Media Group last month that he wouldn't run for a fourth term. He became mayor in 2009, with the resignation of then-Mayor Richard Kidd, and was elected to his first full term in 2010. He won re-election handily in 2014 and 2018.

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