In D.C., Cornelius and Forest Grove, scandal, recall, uncertainty dominate news

It wasn't supposed to be an election year.

With the loud mid-term election of 2010 in the rear view, voters should have had a year's respite from the political pressure cooker that's sure to mark the presidential election of 2012.

But that's not how it happened. Instead, a tense standoff between former Cornelius Mayor Neal Knight and former city manager Dave Waffle led to a summer recall targeting Knight and two allies. In Washington, D.C., a series of staff defections from U.S. Rep. David Wu's office led to photos of the congressman in a tiger suit, and later, allegations of unwanted sex that ultimately led to his resignation.

And the recall fever fed into Forest Grove, where two members of the school board were ousted in November following a politically charged season of massive budget cuts at the district's schools.

And even now as 2012 dawns, many of last year's loudest political fights have yet to be resolved entirely.

While Cornelius has a new city council in place, the city is still finalizing a slate of city manager applicants to replace Waffle, who was fired by Knight and his allies in July. A public interview and reception for city manager applicants is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 14, though names of the applicants haven't been released yet.

The Forest Grove School Board is still taking applications to fill the seats of Terry Howell and Anna Tavera-Weller, who were both recalled in November.

And in the race to replace David Wu, former Democratic state Sen. Suzanne Bonamici is leading Tualatin business owner Rob Cornilles, with a special election scheduled Tuesday, Jan. 31.

That race so far has mimicked the voting in the 2010 race that Cornilles lost to Wu.

The only public poll was conducted in mid-December by Public Policy Polling for the Daily Kos website and the SEIU public employees union. It puts Bonamici at 52 percent of the vote, Cornilles at 41 and 7 percent undecided.

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