A 24-hour ballot drop site at the Banks Public Library. Photo: Chas Hundley
The filing window is now closed for the May 18 special district elections, and it’s a competitive field this time around. Here are the candidates running for local office in the Banks area and surrounding communities.
Six candidates are running for three seats on the Banks School District Board of Directors — Leslee Sipp of the Satellite neighborhood outside of Banks, Chad Mueller of Manning, and Jodi Hailey of the Hillside area are running for Position 1; Corissa Mazurkiewicz, a resident who lives west of Banks and works as an assistant professor at Forest Grove's Pacific University is running unopposed for Position 2 after incumbent Raymond Mott dropped out of the race; Ron Frame a resident who lives north of Banks and Curt VanBlarcom of Wilkesboro are running for Position 3.
Portland Community College Zone 7, which encompasses far west Washington County and beyond, has two candidates running for the seat — Reiko Mia Williams of Portland, a former assistant principal of prior government experience, and Kristi Wilson who currently works as the City of Hillsboro’s Youth Workforce development manager.
Education isn’t the only institution whose board members are involved in an election race. Several fire district board of directors seats are open, too, including two positions on the Banks Fire District board, two on the Forest Grove Fire District board, and three on the Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue board (TVF&R).
Running for Banks Fire District Board of Directors in Position 1 is incumbent Matt Pihl of Manning, who is president of Pihl, Inc., an excavation company based off the Sunset Highway just north of town. Pihl also serves as an elected official as Zone 5 director for the Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District.
Running against Pihl is John Wren, who lives between Banks and Mountaindale. Wren said he spent more than three decades as a volunteer firefighter, serving in Washington County Fire District #2 from 1984 to 1999 and with the Banks Fire District from 2000 to 2020. Washington County Fire District #2 was annexed by Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue in 2017.
Kevin Henning, the incumbent board member, is running unopposed for Position 3.
TVF&R sees all three candidates running unopposed. Bob Wyffels of Tigard lists his occupation as a semi-retired general contractor for Position 1, Clark Balfour of Sherwood, currently the general counsel for the Tualatin Valley Water District, for Position 2, and Gordon Hovies of Tigard, a former lieutenant and EMT with Portland Fire and Rescue, for Position 3.
Read more candidate filings for every Washington County special elections race here.
Editor's note: Shortly after this story was published, current school board member Raymond Mott dropped out of the race.