Astoria City Council Ward 1 has a candidate for the November election.
David Drafall, a hairdresser at One Six Five West Bond beauty salon for 25 years, has filed for the downtown and west side seat. Ward 1 is represented by City Councilor Zetty Nemlowill, who was elected in 2014 and has not announced whether she will seek a second term.
Drafall, 54, has lived in Astoria for 31 years. After growing up and attending school in Idaho, he served in the Air Force for about three years. He was honorably discharged after the military found out that he was gay, he said.
In Astoria, Drafall was the co-owner of the former DJ’s Vinyl Vegan food cart and treasurer of the Lower Columbia Q Center. He has also been involved with the Uniontown Association and Finnish Brotherhood.
Drafall said his connection to Uniontown through work prompted his decision to run.
“I complain about things happening here all the time. So I thought, ‘OK, run,’” he said. “I don’t have the education background, but I have the background of living here for 31 years. I can learn on the job, you know. I’m for the working guy, that’s why I got into it.”
Drafall identified housing, speeding on Marine Drive and development on the waterfront as some of his core issues. Specifically, he lamented dwindling views of the river and called for a more thorough development plan for the area.
“I don’t care about the developers, I care about the people of Astoria,” he said.
The next question with the Aug. 28 filing deadline looming: Will Drafall have an opponent?
“I’m watching the race unfold and considering running for re-election,” Nemlowill said in a text message.
In the end, Nemlowill’s decision did not affect Drafall’s thinking.
“I had heard she was not going to run, so I said, ‘Well, you know.’ Then I decided I was going to run whether she ran or not,” he said. “I appreciate Zetty for doing as good a job as she could do, and I hope I can do as good a job — if not better.”