Incumbents get challenged for school board seats across Malheur County

VALE – Five Nyssa School Board members have filed for re-election but each drew at least one challenger in the May election.

The Ontario School Board, embroiled in a controversy with its superintendent, will have three incumbents trying to hold their seats in the face of challenges.

On the Treasure Valley Community College board, two incumbents will seek re-election with no challengers while two other incumbents decided against another term. Last-minute filings on Thursday means there will be a contest to replace them.

The competitive school elections stand in contrast to most boards around Malheur County, where incumbents are running without challenge. The Malheur County Clerk’s Office shows 55 incumbents, on panels ranging from the Juntura School Board to the Ironside Cemetery Board, filed for re-election with no challenger stepping up.

The clerk’s office shows that 10 incumbents – most on school boards – are facing challengers.

Four board seats didn’t draw any candidates, including two seats on the Ironside Rural Road District Board, one seat on the Juntura School District Board and one seat on the McDermitt School District Board. Often such seats are filled by write-in candidates.

The election will be Tuesday, May 18.

 In the Nyssa school races, incumbent board member Brett Johnson is being challenged by Nyssa Police Chief Ray Rau. Incumbent Torie Ramirez will face Susan Ramos and Greg Armenta, incumbent Pat Morinaka will face Tammie Briner and incumbent Kim Stipe will face Jason Berry and Alesha Munk. Incumbent Bob Fehlman is being challenged by Megan Robbins.

In the Ontario school races, incumbent Craig Geddes will face Martin Mendoza Jr., incumbent Bianca Rodriguez will face Cydney Cooke and Tony Cade, and incumbent Derrick Draper is being challenged by Tom Greco. Renae Corn, current board chair, didn’t file for re-election and Jeff Schauer and Matt Stringer will seek to fill her slot.

In Vale, Randy Seals and David Wenger didn’t file to return to the school board. Jessica Kulm and Ryan Bates will face off to replace Wenger. Jason Johnson was the lone candidate to file for Seals’ seat. Incumbents Jason Chamberlain and Darlene McConnell will run unopposed to keep their board seats.

Two incumbents on the Adrian School District Board are facing challengers as they seek re-election. Jacob Speelmon faces Eric White and Ryan Martin faces Julene Bowns. Incumbent Quinten Shenk is unopposed for re-election.

McConnell has also been serving on the TVCC Board but didn’t seek re-election to that post. Christopher Plummer and Ken Hart will compete to fill her seat. Cyndey Cooke and Dirk DeBoer filed for the seat being vacated by incumbent John Hall. Board members Roger Findley and Betty Carter are running again, both unopposed.

Contact the Malheur Enterprise news team by email to [email protected].

CORRECTION: Kim Stipe and Alesha Munk are running for seats on the Nyssa School Board. A previous version misspelled their last names. The Enterprise apologizes for the mistake.


Take one action today to help the Enterprise grow and do more for the community through accurate, fair reporting.

SUBSCRIBE: A monthly digital subscription is $5 a month.

GIFT: Give someone you know a subscription.

ONE-TIME PAYMENTContribute, knowing your support goes towards more local journalism you can trust.