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Elks Lodge to host candidate forum, meet-and-greet

Senate, House, commissioner, judge, clerk races to be represented

Candidates for office in Columbia County will take questions and outline their platforms at a forum scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 14, at the St. Helens Elks Lodge.

The event will include time for candidates to introduce themselves and explain why they are running in the Nov. 4 election, before they field questions from members of the audience at the public event. There will also be a meet-and-greet afterward.

This year’s contested countywide races are for one position on the Board of County Commissioners, one position on the Circuit Court, and the county clerkship. There are also contested elections in Oregon Senate District 16 and Oregon House District 31, which include all of Columbia County.

Nonpartisan candidates slated to appear include County Commissioner Henry Heimuller and his opponent Wayne Mayo; Judge Jean Marie Martwick and her opponent Cathleen Callahan; and County Clerk Betty Huser and her opponent Brady Preheim.

In the partisan races for state legislator, state Sen. Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose, who is running for reelection as the nominee of both the Democratic and Republican parties this year, and state Rep. Brad Witt, D-Clatskanie, nominated for reelection by the Democratic and Working Families parties, are scheduled to attend.

Johnson’s challengers are Andrew Kaza of the Independent and Working Families parties; Bob Ekstrom of the Constitution Party; and Perry Roll of the Libertarian Party. All are slated to appear, as is Republican nominee Larry Ericksen, who is challenging Witt.

Doors open for the forum at 5:30 p.m., although it is not scheduled to start before 7 p.m. There will be food and drink available, including a no-host soup and salad bar.

The Elks Lodge is located at 350 Belton Rd., St. Helens.

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