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The Air Force veteran and avid volunteer is running for one of two open seats


John Budiao, who came a few percentage points short of being elected to Wilsonville City Council in 2018, is vying for a spot behind the dais once again.

Budiao said his positions and values haven't changed since 2018 but wants the community to know that he's running to represent them, not any particular agenda.

"I'm running for office to represent the people. I want to hear what they have to say. That's the whole point," he said.

The city of Wilsonville approved Budiao's initial application to run for City Council last week. Budiao will face Council President Kristin Akervall and Councilor Joann Linville for two open council seats. The mayor position is also up for grabs and former councilor Julie Fitzgerald and Councilor Ben West are running in that race. The application deadline for both the council positions and the mayor spot is Tuesday, Aug. 18.

Budiao is an Air Force veteran and served as an Aerial Flight Commander, where he oversaw the transport of large quantities of goods in the Middle East. Locally, Budiao is a scout troop master, youth sports coach and started Operation Spartan Flag, a nonprofit where veterans struggling to reacclimate to civilian life learn woodworking. He also was named the Rotary Club of Wilsonville's First Citizen, given annually to an outstanding volunteer in the community, in 2019.

"John was the strongest candidate not to win a seat in the last election," West said via text message. "He is a very active member of the community and would make an outstanding city councilor."

Budiao finished third in a four-person race for council in 2018 and was narrowly edged out by West, though the two were allies during the campaign. Since then, he applied to the Wilsonville Budget Committee and Planning Commission but was not appointed by Mayor Tim Knapp. He also was a finalist for the open City Council seat vacated by Susie Stevens in 2019 but Joann Linville was appointed to the position instead.

Budiao, who was critical of the city at times during the 2018 race, felt that his education and experience managing supply chains, budgets and training programs in the Air Force made him a worthy candidate.

"It seemed like it (the appointment processes) was personal and political as opposed to (picking) the best candidate," Budiao said.

Similar to West, Budiao would like to see the city be more friendly to the Wilsonville business community and some nearby city governments, and to embrace policies that reduce housing density and traffic. He also noted that the current council lacks a representative that lives east of I-5 and that, if elected, he could help make sure that constituency is heard at the council level.

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