A brief rundown of seats up for election on local boards and governing bodies in Columbia County this November

SPOTLIGHT FILE PHOTO - Election night workers haul boxes of ballots through the Columbia County Courthouse during a 2016 election. This November, several positions on local governing bodies are up for election.Are you interested in getting involved in local politics?

With numerous open seats on various elected boards and commissions, there are many ways to get involved, but the deadline to file is quickly approaching.

Here are some details you might need to know about what's up for reelection, what's required to run and when you need to file.

Columbia River PUD

This election year is significant for the Columbia River People's Utility District. Three seats on the board of directors are open.

In Subdivision 5, which represents Rainier, Columbia City, Prescott and Deer Island, incumbent Harry Price says he will run for re-election. On his initial campaign run in 2014, Price said he would only run for one term.

His stance has since changed.

"I've still got a lot of energy and I enjoy the PUD," Price said. "I just like the job. I feel I've done a good job and I've been [transparent.]"

Subdivision 2, which covers Scappoose and Warren, is also up for election.

Craig Melton currently occupies the position and, like Price, is approaching the end of his first term. Melton remained on the board despite a recall election against him in 2016.

Subdivision 1, which also covers Scappoose, is also up for election. The seat is currently held by Debbie Reed, who ran in a 2016 PUD election but did not receive the majority of votes. Reed was instead appointed to the seat following the election by the current board after another Scappoose resident, Nancy Ward, ran for election and won the seat, but was later determined to be ineligible to serve because she lived just outside the PUD's political boundary.

The filing deadline for PUD positions is Aug. 28 with the Columbia County Elections Office.

Scappoose City Council

Four seats — the majority of the City Council — are up for election in Scappoose. Three councilor positions and the mayor seat will be on the November ballot. All candidate filing paperwork must be submitted to the city recorder's office no later than Monday, Aug. 20.

The mayor seat has been held by Scott Burge since 2006. Joel Haugen, Joshua Poling and Mark Reed currently hold the other seats up for election. Haugen was appointed to the council in 2017, and Poling was only appointed in February after two councilors vacated their seats early.

As of Monday, Aug. 13, Burge had filed for the mayor seat, while Reed and Haugen both filed for re-election to their council seats.

St. Helens City Council

Two seats on the St. Helens City Council are up for reelection this year, Positions 1 and 3. Those seats are currently held by Doug Morten and Susan Conn, respectively. The mayor's seat is also up for reelection, which is currently held by Rick Scholl who was elected in 2016.

To run for council you must have lived within city limits during 12 months preceding the election and be registered to vote. Candidates may file by paying a $50 fee or collecting 43 valid signatures on a petition form in lieu of the fee to file. Signatures must be verified by the Columbia County Elections Office before being submitted to the city. Candidate packets can be obtained at City Hall. The deadline to file is Friday, Aug. 17, by 5 p.m.

So far, two people have filed to run for Position 3, one has filed for Position 1, and one person has filed for mayor.

Columbia County Board of Commissioners

While this race seems almost pre-determined in the wake of the other candidate for Position 2 withdrawing from the race, incumbent Henry Heimuller could still face a write-in challenger.

Don Campbell, who ran for the seat in May but was eliminated in the primary election, says he plans to carry on as a write-in candidate.

Campbell, a Rainier resident who has been a vocal opponent of what he says is sewage pollution from a neighboring mobile home park, says he has been frustrated by the county's response, or lack thereof, to the ongoing public health situation.

He says he aims to be an "advocate for the citizen" in county government, "because we don't have any right now."

This story has been updated since it first appeared in print.

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