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City Councilor Jules Walters to run for West Linn mayor, four newcomers join contest

This story has been updated from its original version.

After two months of no candidate filings for three open West Linn City Council positions, five citizens have entered the race.

One of them, West Linn City Councilor Jules Walters , announced Thursday, Aug. 6, that she is looking to become the next mayor of West Linn. On Monday, Aug. 10, resident Andrew Mallory also filed to run for mayor.

COURTESY PHOTO - BIALOSTOSKYCOURTESY PHOTO - WALTERSThe city also received council candidate filings from Alex Juarez and Alan Zezini. Rory Bialostosky also announced his candidacy for City Council.

Walters is two years into a four-year term as councilor.

Juarez said he grew up in West Linn, went to college at the University of Washington and was dismayed at how little things had improved when he moved back. He also said affordability in the city is a big problem that he'd like to address.

Bialostosky is a 20-year-old college student who has been active in local politics since his high school days, when he led a crusade on behalf of his fellow students regarding inadequate parking at West Linn High School. Last year, he filed a lawsuit against City Councilor Teri Cummings over a records request. The lawsuit resulted in a July 2019 county court decision that surprised many local officials, members of the media and records advocates by ruling that the council notes of Cummings, and all local elected officials, are not public record. The case currently is before the Oregon Court of Appeals.

"Our community reels from an instance of clear racial injustice at our Police Department; policies must be crafted and put in place to ensure that what happened to Mr. Fesser never happens again," Bialostosky wrote in a news release. "And lastly, sacred principles of transparency and open governance that have been abandoned by some members of the governing body must be restored. I pledge to restore them."

If Walters were to lose the mayoral race, she could still serve the remaining two years of her current council term. If she won, the council would appoint an interim replacement until the next election in May 2021, when the community would vote on someone to fill the rest of the term.

"As a City Councilor I have focused on bringing people together. I have worked hard to fund our parks and library programs, collaborate with the school district in their diversity work, and to hold our police officers accountable," Walters said in a news release. "I have reached out to our regional partners to ensure that our city has a seat at the table and a voice for our community. I believe that civil, honest and transparent leadership is what is best for our city and that's what I will bring with me as mayor."

Walters' candidacy comes three days after current Mayor Russ Axelrod announced at a City Council meeting that he would be stepping down from the position.

Axelrod the next day explained that by "stepping down" he meant "not seeking reelection."

Zezini did not immediately return requests for comment.

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