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Races develop for fall election

By Kent Gray

Triplicate staff writer

Local races for November's general election ballot took shape this week with the closure of the filing period.

Countywide, voters in the fall will be asked to choose candidates vying for Del Norte County sheriff-coroner, district attorney and Crescent City Board of Harbor Commissioners.

In Crescent City, a race is on for two open City Council seats, and in the Smith River Community Services District, a five-way race for three open seats has developed.

In the harbor contest, five candidates are looking to fill two open seats. These are Mario Deiro, a retired law enforcement officer, Daniel Kirkpatrick, a retired naval officer, and business owners Mike McKenzie-Bahr, Kate VanDyke and Bev Noll. Noll currently occupies one of the seats.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Mike Riese and Deputy District Attorney Nan Udell are seeking the top post in their office. Former Sheriff Mike Ross and Sgt. Dean Wilson of the Crescent City Police Department are battling for the sheriff position.

In Crescent City, three candidates are vying for two open seats on the City Council. These are school administrator Dennis Burns, environmental engineer Ray Martell and incumbent Jack Burlake.

In the Smith River Community Services District the five candidates for the three seats in this race are incumbents Duane (Sparky) Countess, Jimmy Floyd and Keith Sellers, and newcomers Bill Alexander and Susan Ramirez.

In districts where no opposition materialized, some candidates were declared elected this week after the filing deadline closed.

Newcomers Richard Sherman and Richard Lutz will be joining incumbent Joseph Kravitz on the Crescent Fire Protection District.

David Dodds will fill a seat with the Smith River Fire Protection District. Two open seats remain for this district. No candidates filed for the Fort Dick Fire District's three open seats, the Gasquet Fire District's two open seats, and the Klamath Fire District's three seats.

Of the remaining community service districts, only one candidate filed. Lloyd Meirendorf will be filling one of three open seats with the Bertsch Ocean View District.

The following open seats will be filled by appointment: One seat with Big Rock CSD, three seats with Church Tree CSD, two seats with Gasquet CSD, one seat with Hussey Ranch, three seats with Hunter Valley, two seats with Redwood Park, two seats with Klamath and two positions for the Smith River Cemetery District.

Incumbent Rick Bennett will continue in his position with the College of the Redwoods, Tedd Ward and Dennis Sutton will continue serving with the Library District and Dwayne Reichlin, Terry McNamara and Byron Wilson will continue with the Healthcare District.

County clerk Vicki Frazier said she will have to make the next move to begin filling the vacancies.

"I will be responsible for sending a letter out to the districts themselves to inform them that there are vacancies," Frazier said yesterday. "I will ask them to please recommend people for those vacancies and I will take it to the (Del Norte County Board of Supervisors) for them to make appointments."

Elected officials for the special districts will take office on the first Friday of December. All other elected officials will be sworn into office on the first working Monday in January, Frazier said.

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