With less than two hours remaining before the close of the five-day filing period for those running for office this fall, Ocean Shores Council member Susan Conniry made it official that she will join two others, Carlos Roldan and Dan Marlowe, in opposing Mayor Crystal Dingler’s bid for a third term.
Other last day filings increased to 14 the number of citizens seeking five seats on the City Council. In addition, three will run for the District 3 seat on the board of Hospital District 2, which operates Grays Harbor Community Hospital, and two North Beach School Board members will run unopposed as will three area fire district commissioners.
For City Council Position 2, Kathryn Sprigg was appointed in March to fill the seat of Jeff Daniel, who died in a surfing accident in February. She is opposed by Michael Darling, who ran third with 16% of the vote in the 2017 Council primary against Conniry and John Lynn.
Position 3 incumbent Lisa Griebel previously announced that she would not seek re-election, prompting a four-way fight for that seat. Richard Wills and Frank Elduen filed after both were turned down as they sought appointment to vacant Council seats in the past year. Dennis Schulte filed for Council in 2015, then didn’t campaign and pulled just under a third of the vote against Jon Martin. John Schroeder was elected to Council in 2011, defeated in 2015 with 40.6% against Dan Overton, and finished third in a four-person primary for Griebel’s seat in 2017, with 20.7%
Position 4 incumbent and Mayor Pro Tem Jon Martin will seek re-election against first time candidates Lorraine Hardin and Eva C. Russell. Martin won his Council seat with 67.4% of the vote in 2015.
Chuck Anderson was the first of the 14 Council candidates to file last week, just three minutes before his Position 6 opponent, incumbent Bob Peterson, who won the office in 2015 with 65.5% of the vote against Marlowe, another candidate who filed but did not conduct a campaign that year.
A trio of candidates for Position 7 completes the Council primary ballot. Eric Noble was appointed to the seat last fall to replace Diane Solem, who resigned to become City Marketing Manager. He is opposed by David Linn and Brian Ferguson.
Positions 3, 4 and 7, the Mayoral contest and the Hospital District 2 seat will be on the August 6 primary ballot. If Dingler and Conniry both advance from the primary, the November 5 general election will be a rematch of their 2015 Mayoral race, which saw Dingler win decisively with 61.4% of the vote. She was first elected to the office in 2009 with a 49.6% plurality win against Bruce Leven and write-in candidate Jim Jordan.
If Conniry loses, she still has two years left in the City Council term she won in 2017 by defeating two term incumbent John Lynn with 52.2% of the vote.
Mayor Dingler told the North Coast News that her objectives for a third term are to “work with citizen groups and the Council to one, continue to increase our fiscal health, while maintaining our infrastructure; two, work to improve our City services, creating trails and ferry service with Westport; three, develop a more robust and sophisticated zoning code, working with excavators and builders to ensure that property rights are preserved and (the) environment protected.”
Councilperson Conniry wrote that, “I will continue weekly forums such as Community Voices and hold Town Halls. … You, the people, will be at the top of our city’s organizational chart. As mayor, I will be a leader who listens to you. I will embrace your passion; engage and include you in the decision making process. Our vision for the future will focus on quality of life. A vision that will be a compass that guides us through the ups and downs of economic, social and political change.”
Roldan ran for City Council in 2017, losing to Robert Crumpacker, who got 57.4% of the vote. Explaining his candidacy this year, he wrote, “Mayor Dingler … her 8 years has not moved our community forward and she wants 4 more years. Conniry her 18 months in office as council person, she to (sic) has not moved our city forward in a timely manner and she wants to be mayor also. Property tax payers and others in the community contribute yearly and expect a leader that will move the city forward. My work ethics, my faith and my commitment to the people of Ocean Shores.”
“As Mayor, I look forward to prioritizing transparency and accountability regarding the discussions and actions made by city government. I want to make a positive impact on the current state of our community, as well as the future; considering financial, environmental and social issues. … I believe the mayor should facilitate productive communication and that the citizens and business owners of Ocean Shores deserve to be fully informed of all aspects of local government. Their voices should be heard and considered in decisions and actions made on their behalf.”
Filing for the District 3 seat on the board of Hospital District 2 were Lynn Csernotta of Pacific Beach, Richard Thompson of Ocean City and Al Smith, who lives north of Aberdeen.
Running unopposed for seats on the North Beach School Board are current board president Jane C. Harnagy and District 4 incumbent Jessica J. Holt.
Charles Nation is running unopposed for Fire District 7, Position 1. In Fire District 8, John Collum and Edward Gibbs IV run unopposed for Positions 2 and 3.