Donors from major industries and businesses on the North Coast have favored the challengers in campaigns for the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners in the May election.
John Toyooka, a manager at Lum’s Auto Center running against Commissioner Sarah Nebeker in District 2, has raised more than $14,000, according to state campaign finance reports. Nebeker has raised nearly $3,000.
Courtney Bangs, a Knappa preschool teacher up against Commissioner Kathleen Sullivan in District 4, has raised more than $21,000. Sullivan has raised more than $15,000.
The challengers have drawn similar financial and political support for their campaigns.
Both Toyooka and Bangs have received contributions from Warrenton Fiber, Oregon Right to Life PAC, #TimberUnity PAC, Jon and Kurt Englund of Englund Marine & Industrial Supply and the North Coast First PAC.
Bangs has also received donations from state Sen. Betsy Johnson, Hampton Lumber, Shawn Teevin of Teevin Bros., J.M. Browning Logging, Pier 39 developer Floyd Holcom and Van Dusen Family Inc.
Toyooka has received contributions from the Oregon Automobile Dealers Association PAC, Jason Kraushaar Contracting, Ron Williams of Clatsop Distributing Co., Steven Olstedt of Olstedt Construction and Patrick Nofield, the president of Escape Lodging in Cannon Beach.
Nebeker and Sullivan have both received contributions from Clatsop Citizens for Good Government.
One of Sullivan’s largest donors was Terry Rosenau, a Portland investor and representative of the late Robert “Jake” Jacob, who was behind the Cannery Pier Hotel & Spa. Sullivan used to work at the hotel.
Former Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis, former Clatsop Community College board member Tessa Scheller and former Astoria planning commissioner McLaren Innes were also among the contributors to Sullivan’s campaign.
Lawrence Taylor, a longtime Democratic activist who served as the parliamentarian for county commissioners, issued a statement this week on behalf of Nebeker and Sullivan critical of several campaign mailers for the challengers.
One of the mailers uses an old logo from The Astorian, a headline and references to the newspaper to criticize Nebeker and Sullivan for voting to opt Clatsop County out of a $1 billion timber lawsuit against the state. The mailer also claims they support cap and trade.
Nebeker and Sullivan did not take a position on the cap-and-trade legislation in Salem this year.
“We appreciate that the campaign managers are reading the newspaper. However, we’d prefer that campaigns citing our work reflect the actual content of the story and use the correct logo,” Kari Borgen, the publisher of The Astorian, said.
Bangs, meanwhile, has called out an email sent by Indivisible North Coast Oregon, which has endorsed Sullivan and Nebeker, referring to #TimberUnity as an “anti-environmental group with ties to neo-fascist and militia organizations.”
Frank Stuhr, a Knappa resident who has spoken out against cap and trade, has filed an election complaint with the Oregon secretary of state accusing Sullivan of using county resources to help promote her reelection. He cited a video discussing the county’s response to the coronavirus pandemic posted on her reelection Facebook page in March.
Sullivan, the chairwoman of the county commission, has presided over the board during the pandemic. The video was recorded by the county as part of Sullivan’s role.