The general election is more than 10 weeks off, but three new candidates are positioning themselves to run for a seat on Oregon City Council.
They are Joshua Hughes, an attorney, Kathleen Pollauf, a massage therapist and former short-term council member, and retired Oregon police Sgt. Tim Zale. All have been certified by the Lucas County Board of Elections. They, along with five incumbents, are in contention for the city’s seven council seats.
Incumbents Sandy Bihn and Tom Susor are not on the council ballot.
Ms. Bihn missed the deadline for filing with the Lucas County Board of Elections and had too few valid signatures on her petition.
Mr. Susor, council president, is challenging Mayor Mike Seferian for that office.
To make Oregon politics more interesting this election season, the city is in the first phase of transitioning from two-year to four-year terms for council members, with the top three vote-getters being the first to earn the longer term.
The incumbents on the council ballot are Dennis Walendzak, Gerald Peach, James Seaman, Marvin Dabish, and Terrance Reeves.
Of them, Mr. Dabish is the newest member. He took office June 26, filling the seat vacated by Mike Sheehy, who was appointed to the Ohio House to complete the term of Matt Szollosi, who resigned. Mr. Dabish won the right to Mr. Sheehy’s seat, pursuant to the Oregon City Charter, by being the next highest vote-getter in the last council election.
Mr. Hughes’ candidacy has a connection to Mr. Sheehy and Mr. Szollosi. Mr. Sheehy had intended to run for re-election to council before his appointment to the legislature. His switch to the Statehouse left his campaign committee without a candidate, so it turned to Mr. Hughes, 37, a lifelong resident of northwest Ohio. Mr. Hughes lives in Oregon with his wife, Heather, and children Ella and Evan.
Ms. Pollauf served for 10 weeks in 2011, filling the vacant seat of Clint Wasserman, who resigned in September of that year to take a job with the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office. Like Mr. Dabish, she won the seat by being the next highest vote-getter in the previous election.
She then declined to run for a full term to focus on her growing business. Ms. Pollauf, 47, is a member of the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals and lives in Oregon with her husband, Terry, and children, Heather and Stephen.
Mr. Zale, 57, was an Oregon police officer for 28 years, finishing up his career as detective sergeant in May, 2012. He also spent four years as an officer with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. He and his wife, Janet, an Oregon police detective, have a 9-year-old son.
Mr. Hughes is a Democrat who expects to receive his party’s endorsement. He has picked up endorsements from the Northwest Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 8, Sheet Metal Workers Local 33, and UA Local 50.
Ms. Pollauf and Mr. Zale are independents.
Oregon’s police unions do not endorse candidates, Mr. Zale said, but he hopes to get the nod from other bargaining units.
No candidate criticizes Oregon’s current governance, except that Ms Pollauf and Mr. Zale say the city should work harder on economic development so Oregon consumers have the same shopping choices as communities such as Maumee, Perrysburg, and Sylvania.
“We have some decent restaurants, but as for other amenities, we lack good department stores,” Mr. Zale said.