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Four candidates of varied professional backgrounds seek to fill vacated City Council spot

PMG FILE PHOTO - Four candidates have filed to run for the District 5 vacancy on the Newberg City Council.

Following the resignation of Councilor Gene Piros on July 20 due to health reasons, the Newberg City Council decided Aug. 3 to leave the position vacant until the Nov. 3 election. Four candidates have since filed for the position, aiming to join a council that has experienced ample turnover in recent months.

Maryl Kunkel, Mike McBride, Nicholas Morace and Shy Montoya all will be on the ballot in November, with voters deciding who they believe is best fit for the position going forward.

Kunkel is the co-owner of Mic's Mix gluten-free flour company and bakery in Yamhill and has extensive volunteer experience in the community. She is one of the founding members and leaders of the Newberg Sustainable Solutions Group, owns M2M Doula Care, and is the West Coast outreach director of the Oregon Climate Dialogues.

After graduating from Forest Grove High School, Kunkel's educational experiences include a bachelor's degree in social organization and environmental policy from the University of California-Berkeley and a graduate certificate in Sustainability from Portland State University. She has no prior government experience.

McBride, who has spent 38 years as a Farmers Insurance agent in Newberg, threw his hat into the ring of candidates as well. His education includes a diploma from Newberg High School, and he has spent 35 years on the board of the Chehalem Park and Recreation District (CPRD).

Unlike his opponents, McBride has spent time on the Newberg council before, serving District 3 from 2003 to 2006 until he moved out of the district.

A small business owner, Morace attended Montana State University and studied criminology. He's run for office in Newberg before, including the mayor's spot against Mayor Rick Rogers and for City Council. He has served on the Citizen's Rate Review Committee and in PCP Precinct 003, according to his application.

Montoya is administrative coordinator at CPRD and has served in that position for nearly 11 years. While she has no prior government experience, she attended Portland State University and earned a bachelor's degree in accounting.

More information on candidates' vision for the position, their background, and experiences can be found in the Voters Pamphlet this fall. Newberg voters will have the opportunity to select a councilor for District 5, as well as District 3, which has two candidates on the ballot: incumbent councilor Denise Bacon and GFU administrator Adam McGuffie.


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