Craig Dirksen has served as Tigard's mayor for more than 2½ years

TIGARD - Craig Dirksen says he can concentrate on city issues instead of campaigning this fall because he is running unopposed for mayor.

The deadline to file for the mayor's position was Monday at 5 p.m., and no other candidates filed, according to City Recorder Cathy Wheatley.

Actually, running for mayor is almost second nature for Dirksen. He ran unopposed only two years ago to fill out the remaining two years of Mayor Jim Griffith's term.

Dirksen was elected to the council in November 2000 and took his seat in January 2001; he then was appointed mayor in January 2004 following the death of Griffith in November 2003.

'I am running because there are two or three projects that I want to continue to work on,' said Dirksen, 54. 'I would like to carry through with the downtown improvement plan before I step down and see the (revision of) the Comprehensive Plan completed.'

As for the lack of competition in the upcoming race, Dirksen said the reason depends on who he talks to.

'Some people are being nice and say people don't want to run against me, and others might say, 'Why on earth would anyone want that job?'' he said.

For him, the reasons are personal.

'I care about Tigard,' he said. 'When I talk to little kids, they ask what government does. I tell them it provides services and plans for the future. I like the planning part. I want to be in on planning for tomorrow.'

Dirksen probably won't do much campaigning before the November election, but he said he may put up a few signs and speak before groups when asked.

'I'm really glad to be the only candidate because being mayor takes a lot of time,' said Dirksen, who is an applications engineer. 'It takes all the spare time I have. Campaigning would take away from doing my job.'

Dirksen also has served on the Budget Committee, the Tigard Park Board and as a city facilitator.

He and his wife Jackie have lived in Tigard for 29 years and have three grown children.

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