City News

Salem City Council to see fresh faces as newcomers run for four seats, three vie for mayor

The Salem City Council will see a slew of new faces come 2023.

No incumbent councilor filed for re-election, leaving four council positions open. The mayor’s post also is up for election.

The last day for candidates to file was Tuesday.

The change could shift the political makeup of the council, which has leaned more progressive in recent years.

Mayor Chuck Bennett chose not to seek reelection and will complete his second term at the end of the year, marking six years in the post.

Three candidates have filed to run for his seat – with political contributions already in hand ranging from $2,000 to $62,000.

The last council election saw some of the largest campaign contributions in recent history, with candidate Reid Sund collecting nearly $68,000 during the 2020 primary. He lost the race to Councilor Vanessa Nordyke.

It appears this year’s race could eclipse the last election with Chane Griggs, president of the Rotary Club of Salem and the city’s planning commission, collecting $62,665 in contributions as of March 9.

The primary is on May 17.

Griggs is running against Chris Hoy, a councilor who is currently serving as state representative for House District 21, and Hollie Oakes-Miller.

Hoy reported he has raised $10,535 in contributions so far.

Oakes-Miller, adjunct faculty at Portland Community College, filed on Oct. 28. She unsuccessfully ran against Councilor Jose Gonzalez in the 2020 election. She has raised $2,175 in contributions.

All three candidates have highlighted homelessness as a major issue facing Salem.

Ward 2 

The Ward 2 seat that represents southeast Salem only has one person filed to run.

Linda Nishioka, director of facial plastic surgery at Willamette Ear Nose and Throat, is running for Tom Andersen’s current seat.

Andersen is running as a Democrat to represent House District 19.

Nishioka previously served on the Downtown Advisory Board, Riverfront Park Committee and Streetscape Committee. She reported no campaign contributions as of March 9.

Ward 4

Two people have filed to run for Ward 4 in south Salem, the seat currently held by Jackie Leung. Leung is also running for House District 19.

Deanna Gwyn, a broker at Blum Real Estate, filed to run on Feb. 14. Gwyn had $5,850 in contributions Wednesday.

Dynee Medlock, a lead network specialist at Mac A to Z and former board member of South Gateway Neighborhood Association, filed on March 4. Medlock didn’t have any contributions listed.

Ward 6 

As Chris Hoy runs for mayor, his east Salem council seat is open.

Julie Hoy, no relation to Chris Hoy, is running for the seat against Stacey Vieyra-Braendle, an occupational therapist and adjunct faculty at Pacific University. Vieyra-Braendle is a member of the Salem Citizen Budget Committee and reported $1,300 in contributions so far.

Hoy is the owner of Geppetto’s Italian Restaurant. She reported $10,625 in contributions as of Wednesday. 

Ward 8 

Councilor Jim Lewis resigned last month to spend more time with family, leaving his seat open. The seat represents west Salem.

Two people filed to run for his position.

Micki Varney, a salmon biologist, is running against Chris Cummings, CEO of Petra Technologies.

Varney is the chair of Salem’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, member of the West Salem Neighborhood Association and a chief steward at SEIU Local 503. She reported no campaign contributions as of Wednesday.  

Cummings had $100 in contributions as of March 9.  

Contact reporter Saphara Harrell at 503-549-6250, [email protected].

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