GEARHART — Jack Zimmerman will challenge City Council incumbent Kerry Smith for Position 1 in the November election.
Smith was elected to the seat in 2014, defeating incumbent Al Carder.
Zimmerman and his wife, Kathy, have been coming to Gearhart for 26 years, he said, and have lived here full time for two years. He has never run for public office before.
Friends encouraged him to run. “I thought maybe there was some merit to it,” he said.
He said he was motivated to run by his love for the city and a desire to “keep Gearhart Gearhart.”
“The minute you get into Gearhart, you can decompress,” Zimmerman said. “I don’t want it to look like Seaside, ever. I want it to look like it looks now and improve on that.”
Zimmerman, 69, who is retired, worked in the energy industry in a series of managerial positions. He has owned and developed property in western Colorado, an experience, he said, which has given him insight into working with government agencies.
Zimmerman said he believes “the taxpayer in Gearhart needs more attention,” and supports Gearhart’s vacation rental rules.
“My time is a luxury for me right now, and I can’t find a better way to spend that capital than seeing how the government operates,” Zimmerman said.
One other council seat will appear on the ballot.
Paulina Cockrum, who was appointed by Mayor Dianne Widdop to fill the unexpired term of City Councilor John Duncan after Duncan died in 2015, is so far running unopposed for Position 3.