A crowded and diverse slate of candidates is on the ballot for the May 21 election for North Wasco County School District 21, where 13 candidates are seeking six positions.
Three of the six seats up for election have three contestants each. Two are unopposed and one has two candidates. Several candidates are Hispanic. The filing period for the election ended March 21.
Two candidates—both of whom have recently been appointed to the school board—are running unopposed. They are Dawn Rasmussen in Zone 2 and Michael Sullivan in Zone 7. Taner Elliott had also applied to fill the Zone 7 vacancy, but withdrew his application when Sullivan applied.
“I didn’t really have any interest at that point in running for the four-year term,” Elliott said.
Zone 1, in the Mosier area, has incumbent Rebecca Thistlethwaite, appointed last August, facing challengers Mary Morehouse and Erica Flores.
Zone 6, in the eastern area of the district, also has three candidates. Trudy Lupkes, Cassie Ware and Jose Aparicio are vying for the seat now held by Kathy Ursprung, who is not seeking re-election.
Zone 5 has incumbent Bethani Frantz-Studebaker, who was appointed last July, facing off against challengers Sherry Perry and Josh Farris.
Zone 3 has David W. Jones and Maggie Rocha seeking the position now held by Rob Zule, who is not seeking reelection.
The only board position not up for election is Zone 4, held by John Nelson.
Rasmussen, who owns a resume writing and career services business, was appointed Feb. 28 and Sullivan, parts and service manager at Griffith Motors, was appointed March 21.
Thistlethwaite is program manager at OSU Extension. Morehouse is a bookkeeper and tax preparer. Flores is assistant branch manager at Rivermark Community Credit Union.
Rocha works in accounts receivable at H2Oregon. Jones did not list an occupation on his application to file for office.
Frantz-Studebaker works remotely from The Dalles as a professor of graduate education and director of the curriculum, instruction and innovation program at Northwest Nazarene University. Farris is a teacher and electrician, and Perry is a stay at home mom and former small business owner.
Lupkes recently worked as an accountant at Orchard View. Ware is a homemaker. Aparicio is a project manager with a construction management firm currently managing bond construction work for Hood River County School District.
The Chronicle will run articles on each candidate in the leadup to the election.