Ruth Causey takes the oath of office. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

The Philomath City Council and mayor were sworn in at last night’s ceremony under an outdoor shelter at Philomath Middle School. You might find it interesting that for the first time since 2006, four of the six council seats are occupied by women.

Through the years, Philomath has had many city leaders who were women — Jeannine Gay and Cheryl McMorris come to mind as former mayors who served in the 1980s and 1990s. So this isn’t exactly huge news of breaking any barriers but it has been awhile since the council has seen a female majority.

Jessica Andrade, Catherine Biscoe, Ruth Causey and Teresa Nielson all won in the last election. In the 2004 General Election for terms that ran in 2005-06, Kathi Harwood, Susan Craig, Charla Koeppe and Angie Baca were elected to seats.

I noticed an interesting similarity between the two elections. In November 2004, Harwood, Craig and Koeppe were the top three vote-getters. And in November 2020, the top three individuals attracting votes were Nielson, Causey and Biscoe.

Four women also served on the City Council in 2001-02 with Juanita Ross, Marilyn Slizeski, Gay and Toni Hoyman, and in 1999-2000 with Ross, Slizeski, Hoyman and Craig. There might’ve been others before them as well; that’s as far back as I went looking through election results.

(Brad Fuqua is publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He can be reached at