The race for the District 5 seat on the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners is the only one featuring an incumbent.
Lianne Thompson, who has served on the commission since 2015, is facing Susana Gladwin, a Jewell farmer. The district covers most of South County — including Cannon Beach, Arch Cape, Elsie, Jewell and parts of Seaside.
Thompson served five years on the county Planning Commission, four of which were with Gladwin. Gladwin said she enjoys diving deep into issues, and Thompson said she thinks abstractly.
Thompson’s top priorities are housing, economic development and emergency preparedness. She said her experience has made her better able to absorb viewpoints other than her own.
“She is a passionate advocate for things she believes in,” Thompson said of Gladwin. “I’m an effective leader and an effective follower. I’m an effective team player.”
Gladwin, on the other hand, pointed to infighting on the commission as an example of why she would be a better fit. She said her focus includes housing and forestry issues.
“I’ve been on the Planning Commission with her, and I just think I would be a much more effective county commissioner,” Gladwin said. “I have the courage of my beliefs, and I really listen to people and I really try to get the very best policy.”
Thompson was on the losing end of a vote last year in which the county opted out of a $1.4 billion timber lawsuit against the state. Gladwin said she would have voted along with the majority in that case.
“It’s hard being on the losing end of all these votes, you know,” Thompson said. “I came to this as an environmentalist. My job isn’t just to be an environmentalist. My job is to govern everybody — everybody.”