Carmen Gronquist filed for an open position on the Mid-Columbia Fire & Rescue District board, believing it is important to volunteer for the community.
But since a union-backed opponent also filed for the same position, Gronquist said she was not interested in battling against the union for the position.
“I just don’t choose to participate in fighting for the seat with the union,” she said. She declined to do a full interview. Ballots for the race went out last week and the election is May 21.
Gronquist said she was not trying to withdraw from the race. “Either way is great for me, I’m just not going to battle for it.”
Gronquist has been the administrator for the North Gilliam County Health District in Arlington for 20 years. She moved to The Dalles last September when her daughter got accepted into the nursing program at Columbia Gorge Community College.
She enjoys the commute, she said.
She previously worked on a volunteer ambulance crew — when one was part of the health district — and served as its coordinator and as a certified driver. She noted the ambulance service is once again becoming part of the health district, and is hiring its first full-time paramedic.