Scott Burge not running for reelection as Scappoose mayor
Two candidates will vie to become Scappoose's newest mayor this November.
Brandon Lesowske, a current Scappoose city councilor, will face Joe Backus.
Current Scappoose Mayor Scott Burge did not file for another term.
Unlike in most Scappoose City Council elections in recent history, the race for mayor will be contested, while the city councilor candidates won't have any competition.
Only three candidates filed for the three open seats as city councilors: Jeannet Santiago, Andrew Lafrenz and Kim Holmes. Barring unusual circumstances like a candidate withdrawing or a major write-in campaign starting, the three candidates will all join the council after the election.
Santiago is a current City Council member, having been appointed to her seat in April to finish out Joel Haugen's term after he resigned. She served on various city committees prior to joining the council.
Lafrenz is a professor at the University of Portland's nursing school and a disease investigator and data analyst with the Columbia County Public Health Department.
With a class he was teaching last year, Lafrenz conducted a survey of Columbia County residents to help the county's public health department tailor its COVID-19 vaccine messaging.
Holmes runs an environmental sustainability consulting firm and has served on city and county advisory committees. Holmes was one of five applicants who interviewed for the city council appointment that ultimately went to Santiago.
Santiago, Lesowske, and Josh Poling are the three city councilors with terms expiring at the end of the year. Poling is not running again, while Lesowske is running for mayor rather than seeking reelection as a councilor.
In the mayoral race, Lesowske brings more recent experience in local government.
Lesowske was elected to the Scappoose City Council in 2018 after serving on the city's budget committee. He is the assistant director of planning and sustainability at Portland State University.
Joe Backus works in sales and previously served on the Scappoose School District's board of directors after being appointed to the position. Backus has coached and volunteered with youth athletic teams like Little League for decades, according to his campaign website.
Both mayoral candidates have spent the majority of their lives in Columbia County. Backus graduated from Scappoose High School, while Lesowske graduated from St. Helens High School.
City councilors serve four-year terms, while the mayor serves for two years.
Burge is currently serving his eighth term as mayor.
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