One more candidate needed to file for Bemis' seat

The race for three Gresham City Council seats now has a second candidate.

James 'Mike' Bennett is running for Councilor Jacquenette McIntire's Position 2. McIntire is not running for re-election.

Bennett is one of only two candidates for three open seats on the November ballot - and next week's filing deadline is right around the corner.

Richard A. Strathern filed last month to run for Position 4, now filled by Councilor David Widmark, who pulled out of the race citing heath problems.

That leaves Position 6 - now filled by Council President Shane Bemis who is running against Mayor Charles Becker for the mayor's seat - up for grabs.

Bennett, 54, has lived in Gresham for 10 years and is president of the Whispering Heights Home Owners' Association.

He studied engineering at Glendale Community College and chemical engineering at Arizona State University. In 1996, he was the lead engineer of LSI's construction and is now a principal facilities engineer for ON Semiconductor, formerly LSI.

Bennett volunteers as chairman of Gresham's budget committee, vice chairman of the finance committee and is on the city's audit committee. He also is president of the Mt. Hood Community College Bond Committee, is a board member for the Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce and is a past board member of East Metro Economic Alliance.

'As an engineer, I never imagined that I'd be in politics,' Bennett said. But when he helped neighbor Councilor Karylinn Echols with her successful 2004 council campaign, he began considering a run of his own.

Bennett believes his engineering and consulting experience will help the city minimize future growing pains as Springwater and Pleasant Valley are developed.

Deadline approaches to file for city positions

Attention armchair politicians: The deadline to file for one of three open Gresham council seats, plus the mayor's seat, is Thursday, Aug. 24.

So far, the only race with two candidates is the mayor's race, in which Mayor Charles Becker and Council President Shane Bemis are competing on the Nov. 7 ballot.

Richard Strathern has filed to run for Position 4, now filled by Councilor David Widmark. Widmark filed in January to run for the seat but withdrew from the race in June due to health reasons.

James 'Mike' Bennett filed last week to run for Position 2, now filled by Councilor Jacquenette McIntire. She isn't running for re-election. One council seat remains open for the taking - Position 6, now filled by Bemis.

All positions are at-large, meaning candidates can live anywhere within the city limits. The positions also are for four-year terms. Candidates must be 18 years old by the election date and have lived in Gresham the year before the election.

Candidates must submit their nominations by 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24. Nominations may be submitted one of two ways - paying a $10 filing fee or submitting a petition with the signatures of 20 registered Gresham voters. Election manuals and forms are available in Gresham City Hall, 1333 N.W. Eastman Parkway.

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