Richard Kidd, Elena Uhing and Victoria Lowe take leads in early Forest Grove returns

Forest Grove residents elected a city council that looks very familiar Tuesday, with former mayor Richard Kidd picking up a vacant council seat and two incumbents keeping their jobs.

In a race that featured five candidates vying for three seats, initial election results showed Kidd, Elena Uhing and Victoria Lowe as the top vote-getters.

Aldie Howard, who has pledged to run for city council until he wins or leaves town (his past attempts have all failed), was fourth while Victoria Johnson, who sat on the city council in the 1990s, was fifth.

“I’m very pleased that it looks like I’ll be back on the council,” Kidd told the News-Times shortly after the 8 p.m. results were posted. “I look forward to working with my fellow councilors to make Forest Grove the liveable place that it is.”

Kidd is the longest-serving mayor in Forest Grove history and spent nearly three decades in city government. He said that since leaving his mayor's post three years ago, he's spent time looking at how other cities are addressing challenges similar to those facing Forest Grove.

Lowe, 60, a three-term city councilor is passionate advocate for the Fernhill Wetlands and represents the council on two key advisory panels: the board of Clean Water Services (the county’s sewer/wastewater agency) and the region’s Joint Water Commission.

Uhing, a non-profit consultant, has served on the council since 2004. The 57-year-old former high-tech worker, serves as the liaison to the city’s Historic Landmarks Board and library boosters and has been a strong advocate for economic development.

Johnson, 56, served on the council from 1990-1998 before her job took her out of town.

She returned to Forest Grove three years ago and jumped back into civic life, volunteering on the city’s public safety advisory committee. Johnson’s attempted council comeback was fueled by worries over a pair of recent lawsuits the city has faced how the city funds its economic development office.

Howard, a former planner, bar owner and city administrator, was also troubled by the city’s legal troubles, saying the city should settle the lawsuit in which a jury awarded a developer $6.5 million.

Howard, 73, has played both the role of outside critic, calling for the firing of certain city employees, and inside participant, serving on city’s Committee for Citizen Involvement.

The open seat on the council was created when Councilor Tom BeLusko announced that he’s stepping down. BeLusko was appointed to his post two years ago after then-Mayor Kidd resigned to run for Washington County commissioner and then-Councilor Pete Truax was selected to replace him.

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