By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
The race is still in the early stages, but some things are starting to shape up.
This fall, Keizer will elect a new mayor. Lore Christopher has held that position since being elected in 2000 but is hanging up her hat.
Keizer City Councilor Cathy Clark is thus far the only person to announce intentions to run for mayor.
“We need to listen to the people,” Clark told the Keizertimes in January. “Where are we now and where are we going?”
Clark filed to run for mayor in 2012 but didn’t. Current council president Joe Egli also filed but, like Clark, didn’t run. He is still deciding whether to run this year.
“I would love to run for mayor and I think I would do a great job,” Egli said in February. “I’ve had a lot of people calling to ask me.”
Former councilor David McKane lost to Christopher in 2012 and hasn’t indicated whether he’ll run this year. However, he made it clear he’s looking forward to a change.
“I’m happy Lore Christopher is not going to be mayor next year,” McKane said.
As far as council races, the seats of Egli, Clark, Kim Freeman (appointed last summer to fill the vacancy created by Ken LeDuc’s resignation) and Jim Taylor are up.
Taylor has already announced he won’t be running again for council. Brandon Smith, the former councilor who lost on a late write-in candidacy in 2012 to LeDuc, has already announced he will be running for Taylor’s seat. Smith is currently chair of the Keizer Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.
Roland Herrera, the longtime city employee until resigning in the fall of 2011, has announced he will be running for council as well.
Expanding the scope to state races, Rep. Kim Thatcher announced late last year she will be running for the Senate District 13 seat being vacated by Larry George.
Two Republicans have filed to run for Thatcher’s current House District 25 seat, local radio show host Bill Post and Barbara Jensen.
Jensen, a Keizer resident and information technology specialist, is a property management business owner.
“When our state government is in turmoil over failed projects like the health insurance exchange, Oregonians in House District 25 are calling for a voice of experience in the legislature who can ensure accountability and transparency for how taxpayer dollars are spent,” Jensen said. “We also need a legislator who will work to eliminate barriers that prevent small business owners from hiring new employees and bring some common sense family values to the legislature.”
Post is a broadcaster and, until this week, hosted a daily talk show on 1430 KYKN.
“I love Oregon and I want to make a difference in peoples’ lives” Post said in December. “I have been so fortunate to have Representative Kim Thatcher as my state representative and now I am thrilled and want to continue, and even extend the great work she has already done over the past 10 years in our district.”
Post continuing to host his show has drawn the attention of the Jensen campaign. On Monday, Jensen’s campaign manager Jesse Alexander accused Post of using his show in violation of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules.
“After a short investigation, it became clear that Mr. Post was leveraging his position as a radio talk show host to benefit his campaign,” Alexander said in a statement. “We also uncovered a number of other potential violations of state law.”
In light of that accusation, Post announced Monday evening he was suspending his show, effective immediately.
“This is an expected development and a sacrifice I planned for and am willing to make for the opportunity to represent the people of House District 25,” Post said in a statement. “I love talking on the radio and will miss it greatly.”
Jensen and Post will face each other in the May primary.
On Wednesday, former city councilor and current Salem-Keizer School Board member Chuck Lee said he is running for the seat as an independent.