Six candidates in hunt for Philomath School Board seats

The Philomath School Board will see considerable changes this summer when its three newest members are sworn in following the outcome of the May 18 special election.

One familiar face will return with an unopposed Rick Wells on the ballot. Wells served on the school district’s governing board for 16 years from 2003-19.

The other two seats will be held by newcomers to the board. Running for Position 3 are Joe Dealy, Brittany Kennedy and Abigail Kurfman. Vying for the Position 4 seat are Erin Gudge and Joey McGlinchy. Wells will take over Position 1.

Current board members Greg Gerding, Jim Kildea and Shelley Niemann all chose to not run again. Two board seats are not up for election and are occupied by Anton Grube and Karen Skinkis.

Wells has been hauling wood byproducts and logs since 1983. Besides the School Board, he has also been involved with the district through the Budget Committee.

Dealy has a long career in education as a math teacher in Philomath and as a math scoring director for the Oregon Department of Education. He has no prior governmental experience.

Kennedy currently serves as the grants manager for the Benton Community Foundation. In the past, she worked as a recreation program coordinator and finance clerk for Adair Village. She has no prior governmental experience.

Kurfman has worked as a teacher in Lebanon and Lincoln City and also has an occupational background in the areas of grant writing, technical writing and as a community organizer and trainer for an education advocacy group. She has no prior governmental experience.

McGlinchy is a business owner and compliance specialist for the state and formerly worked in real estate. He currently serves on the Philomath Planning Commission and is an alternate member of the school district’s Budget Committee.

Gudge is a graphic design specialist for Samaritan Health Services and has worked in that same profession in prior positions. She has been a volunteer for several years in the local schools. She has no prior governmental experience.

The Philomath Fire & Rescue board has a candidate for each of its three vacant seats. Robyn Jones is running for Position 1, Ken Corbin for Position 2 and Doug Edmonds for Position 3.

Jones is the director of food service and marketing at Oregon State University. She is a current Fire & Rescue board member.

Corbin is a self-employed software engineer and 33-year volunteer firefighter and medic in Philomath. He has no prior governmental experience.

Edmonds works in the software profession and has a background in government as a former member of the Philomath City Council and Philomath Planning Commission along with several committees.

Jessie Blum and David King filed as candidates for vacancies on the Blodgett-Summit Rural Fire Protection District. Two other seats did not attract any candidates.

In the Hoskins-Kings Valley Rural Fire Protection District, Jay Tappen is the only candidate. Nobody filed for two other vacancies on that board.

The Benton County Elections Division plans to begin mailing ballots to local voters around April 28.


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