There are two positions open for re-election on the Columbia County Board of Commissioners next year.
Position 1, currently held by Commissioner Margaret Magruder who filed for re-eletion on Thursday, Sept. 12, will have a challenger. Local candidate Brandee Dudzic filed for the position on Monday, Sept. 16.
Position 3 is currently held by Commissioner Alex Tardif who also filed for re-election on Thursday, and for now, he remains unopposed.
The deadline to file is March 10, 2020.
Commissioner Magruder filed for re-election amid a crowd of family, friends and supporters, signing and handing in her completed candidate form making her bid for a second term in office official.
Magruder is a lifelong resident of Clatskanie and a third-generation farmer, with more than two decades of public service involving Columbia County business, government and non-profits, according to her biography on Columbia County’s website. Her public sector experience has included serving on the Clatskanie-Quincy Citizens Planning Advisory Committee and the Columbia School District 5J board of directors. She also served as precinct committeeperson for the Columbia County Democratic Central Committee for approximately 10 years.
“Being a county commissioner has provided me the opportunity to meet so many amazing new people and businesses. To work with them, to help solve problems and to advocate for those in need has been an honor and a privilege,” Magruder said.
“I look forward to being able to continue my work on projects like economic development, watershed improvement, and getting the County’s inventory of foreclosed properties sold and back on the tax rolls.”
Challenger Dudzic filed for election alongside a colleague. She moved to St. Helens on New Year’s Eve in 2005. She works in Columbia County as a Legal Assistant to multiple Columbia County Public Defenders, a workshop facilitator, mediator, and is the incoming Columbia County Law Librarian as of Nov. 1.
She is also the founder and Executive Director of Repatriate our Patriots, created to support those who have served in the US Armed Forces and are now facing deportation. The organization’s work has garnered the attention of national media in recent weeks.
“Columbia County is experiencing significant challenges when it comes to dealing with its rural economy, affordable housing, and a vision for the future that we can all feel excited about. Our county is fragmented, and it feels like people are becoming more polarized by the day, but I know that underneath all that, our shared interests, needs, and goals are all quite common,” Dudzic said. “In order to be a good leader, one must first be willing to uncover that level of intersectionality. We need new leadership to address these challenges and be brave enough to start making better decisions about the future. I am that change.”
Commissioner Tardif filed for re-election alongside a colleague, making his bid for a second term in office official. A tax accountant by trade, Tardif is a lifelong resident of Columbia County and currently resides in Scappoose.
According to Columbia County’s website, Tardif is a volunteer on the Scappoose School Board budget committee and has worked in the public sector as a tax auditory for the State of Oregon. Prior to becoming a commissioner, he worked at an international software company where he managed the tax and payroll departments.
“I am honored to have served as commissioner and I filed to run again because I believe in Columbia County and what it is capable of,” Tardif said. “I’ve truly enjoyed serving my community over the last several years and would like to continue to serve them in a transparent and accountable way. I believe we have nothing but opportunity to build the life we all want here, but it takes work and continuing the work to completion that I’ve already started. I look forward to serving my community and continuing to be a voice for the residents of our county.”