Takeaways from the first day of candidate filing for upcoming elections: The Longview City Council election this year will have at least one contested race, and the Kelso City Council may swap out a councilman for his wife.
Lifelong Longview resident Randy Teig, who has worked as a Portland police sergeant for the Neighborhood Response Team, filed for Councilman Ken Botero’s seat Monday. Botero has said he will not run for re-election.
Spencer Boudreau, a 19-year-old political activist and host of a social-media show, also filed for the open position Monday. A story about Boudreau's candidacy announcement appeared in TDN on March 20.
As part of the Neighborhood Response Team, Teig said he frequently handled community problems such as homelessness, disorder, drug houses and anything else that affected neighborhoods and schools. He was in charge of the East Precinct, which covered about 250,000 residents, he said.
Teig, 53, said he commuted to Portland every day for 30 years because he wanted to raise his children in Longview.
“I don’t have any complaints (about city leadership) or anything I want to rectify, I just think I have something to add. I have a lot of understanding in how to deal with social disorders,” he told The Daily News on Monday.
Teig is now working as the community enforcement manager for the city of Gresham, Ore., but will leave at the end of the month to serve as the marine terminal administrator for the Port of Kalama.
He also owns a local ammunition supplier, Slapshot USA.
“Part of what I did with the Neighborhood Response Team is support business by making the environment around them supportive of business. I have an understanding of how to do that in a way that gets things done without alienating people,” he said.
Teig said he has never run for public office, but now “I’m just trying to circle back home. I’ve been exporting my skills to another community, and now I want to get home.”
Longview Mayor Don Jensen also filed for reelection Monday. He has served as mayor since 2013.
Longview Mayor Pro Tem Mike Wallin and Councilman Scott Vydra also filed for reelection.
Meanwhile, in the Kelso City Council race, Lisa Alexander has filed for her husband, Larry Alexander’s, seat.
Lisa Alexander, 50, previously ran for Kelso City Council in 2017, but lost to former Cowlitz County Commissioner Mike Karnofski.
After that election, the Alexanders decided that this year was her turn to run, she said Monday.
“The fact that we’re married doesn’t mean we both believe the same things. We have two different ideas on what can work,” she said. “This time I know what I’m coming into. I’m positive. And I’m hoping to help keep Kelso going forward.”
Alexander, a professional housekeeper, said Monday that she is running for the same reasons as two years ago: She wants to improve downtown Kelso, bring in more businesses, create more family-friendly events, support the police department and “see Kelso grow.”
“I’d like to make it easier for businesses to come into Kelso. There’s a lot of strict color codes on businesses being painted that I don’t think are necessary,” she said.
She is also a leading member of the Kelso ARRR Pirates, which adopted three streets this year to keep clean. She’d like more citizens to do the same, she said.
“What makes me stand out is my love of Kelso and love of my community,” she said. “I believe, in all essence, Kelso is a giant family. Each person is an individual, but if you compromise and work hard, you can always come to the table and make things better.”
Former Humane Society Executive Director Keenan Harvey has also filed for the Kelso City Council — for Councilman Jim Hill’s seat. Hill had not yet filed for re-election as of Monday.
Harvey, 29, said his experience in the public, private and nonprofit sector will be a “good asset” for the city. He works as a commercial insurance producer for Biggs Insurance.
He said he has been interested in politics for three or four years and is serving as a precinct committee officer in the Haussler District.
“I have always thought about county commissioner, but before you start running you got to walk,” Harvey said. “Four spots are up, so I thought this was a good time.”
Harvey said he chose to challenge Hill because he didn’t agree with some of the councilman’s recent policy positions, particularly his support for a landlord licensing program. (The proposed program would likely require landlords to inspections every three years and pay a licensing fee of about $50 annually per unit. However the City Council has not formally adopted the program.)
As an aspiring landlord, Harvey said a rental housing inspection program could price landlords out of the area.
Harvey previously served as the executive director of the Humane Society of Cowlitz County but was fired in December 2017, which he said was after he filed a grievance against the board of directors regarding improper chain of command. Humane Society leadership declined at the time to comment on its decision.
He said Monday that he didn’t think the disagreement would play a factor in the council race.
“I learned a lot in that position that’s going to help me on the council. I dealt with council in contract negotiations. Anybody that really truly followed that case understood that the issue wasn’t me. We had a lack of funding. From the beginning, there was a story that we were hemorrhaging money,” he said. “Paired with disagreement with the board, I don’t think if you truly looked at situation you could fault me at all.”
Also in the Kelso City Council race, Former Mayor and current Councilman David Futcher has filed for re-election. He has served on the council for more than a decade.
Seventy-three elective offices are up for re-election in Cowlitz County this year. Here’s a full list of other candidates who have filed so far:
Court of Appeals, Division 2, District 3
Judge Position 2: Anne Cruser (Incumbent)
Cowlitz Superior Court Judge
Judge Position 5: Patricia Fassett (Incumbent)
Port of Kalama Commission
District 2: Alan Basso (Incumbent)
Port of Woodland Commission
District 2: Robert Wile (Incumbent)
District 2: John (JJ) Burke
City of Castle Rock
Council Position 3: John Earl Queen (Incumbent)
City of Kalama
Council Position 3: Jon Stanfill
Council Position 5: Mary Putka (Incumbent)
City of Woodland
Council Position 7: Michael Benjamin (Incumbent)
Council Position 7: Monte Smith
Longview School Board
Position 5: Jennifer E. Leach (Incumbent)
Castle Rock School Board
District 3: David Dangleis (Incumbent)
District 4 (at large): Val Tinney (Incumbent)
Kalama School Board
District 2: Ryan J. Cruser (Incumbent)
Kelso School Board
Position 4: Mike Haas (Incumbent)
Fire District 1 Commission
Position: Tyson Humbyrd (Incumbent)
Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue Commission
Position 2: Jeff Cameron (Incumbent)
Fire District 5 Commission
Position 3: David Wyman (Incumbent)
Fire District 6 Commission
Position 2: Mike Kayser (Incumbent)
Fire District 7 Commission
Position 1: Day D. (Denny) Parkhill (Incumbent)
Position 1: Fredrick Hudgin
Cemetery District 2 Commission
Position 3: Gary Stuart (Incumbent)
Beacon Hill Water and Sewer Commission
Position 2: Bonnie Decius (Incumbent)
Lexington Flood Control Zone District Cowlitz
Supervisor 2: Brian Wesemann (Incumbent)
No one has yet filed for the following offices:
Toutle Lake School Board
Woodland School Board
Port of Longview Commission
Fire District 3 Commission
Cowlitz-Lewis Fire Protection District 20 Commission
Cemetery Districts 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7
Woodland Swimming Pool and Recreation District