With no candidates several weeks into the filing process, the idea of the current Philomath School Board needing to fill seats through future appointments started to become a possibility. But in the final week, four local residents threw their names into the race with Steven King becoming the first to file on March 10, followed by Ryan Cheek and Sandi Hering on March 13 and incumbent Karen Skinkis on March 15.

Election Day will be May 16. The last day to register to vote will be April 25. Benton County Elections plans to begin mailing ballots to voters on April 26.

Cheek, a longtime farmer and rancher, will square off against King, who retired after a career in technology and education, for the Position 2 seat. The seat is currently held by Christopher McMorran, who was appointed to the position to finish the term by Anton Grube.

The Position 5 seat also had two candidates with Skinkis, a medical office manager, going up against Hering, who retired after a career as a veterinary technician. Skinkis was elected to the board for the first time in 2019.

Both positions include four-year terms.

Several fire districts are also holding elections, including three seats on the Philomath Fire & Rescue board. Current members Joe Brier (Position 1), Rick Brand (Position 4) and Daphne Phillips (Position 5) are all running unopposed. Brand and Phillips filed for seats that hold four-year terms. Brier is running for a seat to finish the final two years of an unexpired term.

The Blodgett-Summit Rural Fire Protection District board has four candidates for the four seats — Shannon Zuschlag (Position 1), Britt Carlson (Position 2), Mark Scacco (Position 4) and Andrew Burton (Position 5). Zuschlag and Carlson are running for four-year terms; Scacco for a two-year term; and Burton to finish the final two years of an unexpired term.

The Hoskins-Kings Valley Rural Fire Protection District board also had two unopposed candidates for two seats — Evelyn Hukari (Position 1) and Ted A. Baker (Position 2). Both of those seats carry four-year terms.

The election will also include the $110 million bond measure that would allow Benton County to move forward with the construction of a new jail and other safety-related facilities as well as an expansion of mental health and homelessness services.

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