The deadline to file to become a candidate for school board or other special district passed last Thursday, leaving Wallowa County with one or more candidates for almost every position in the May 20 election.
Vote by mail ballots will be sent out around May 2, with April 29 the deadline to register to vote in the election.
The most competitive races in the upcoming election promise to be those for Wallowa and Enterprise school district boards, which have at least two candidates for every position. All positions are for four-year terms unless otherwise specified.
Running for Enterprise School District #21 directors are incumbent Bill L. Ables, who is challenged by Chuck Simpson for Position #2, and incumbent Joe Stangel, who will face two challengers, Keli George and Nils D. Christoffersen, for Position #3.
Wallowa School District #12 will have no less than nine candidates on the ballot running for three seats. Vying for Position #1 are Theresa Spaur, Wayne Werst, Bob Both and Bruce Lathrop; for Position #3, incumbent Karen C. Josi and Marcus Burns; and for Position #4, Shannon "Cissy" Shelton, Michael G. Wood and Ed Millar.
Joseph School District #6 has five open positions and five candidates: Zone #1, incumbent Carol L. Baynes; Zone #2, Randy Garnett (currently serving on the board on Imnaha Zone #7, but has moved into Joseph and is now running for the seat currently occupied by Mallie Botham); Zone #5, incumbent Greg Brink; Zone # 6 (two year term), Eric Borgerding ; and Zone #7 (two year term), Joe Warnock.
Both the Wallowa County Education Service District and Troy School District #54 will see the incumbent in all positions running unchallenged on their ballots. ESD candidates are Ernestine Kilgore, Mark Heuett, Marilyn Dalton and Elwayne D. Henderson. Troy school board candidates are Clarice J. Kiesecker, David Flynn and Mark Heuett.
All three incumbents in three open positions for the Wallowa County Health Care District board of directors are running for another term without opposition. They are Bruce R. Penoske, Edward M. Jensen and Marsha Svendsen.
There are three special improvement districts in Wallowa, two of which are the only special elections without enough candidates. Incumbent Dale F. Johnson is the lone candidate for the Lower Valley Water Improvement District, with three positions listed on the ballot; and incumbent Charles F. Trump is the only person running for two board seats on the Evergreen Sewer and Water District.
In the Wallowa Rural Fire Protection District, however, three incumbents are running for re-election unopposed for three slots: Perry Johnston, Don Diggins and Archie Hook.
There is also one unopposed incumbent candidate for each of the local cemetery maintenance districts' board of directors openings. They are as follows: Alder Slope, Clarice E. Southwick and Linda Graning; Enterprise, James P. McGinnis; Joseph, Horace R. Daggett; and Lostine, Skip Shelton and Shirley Doud.