Editor’s note: Candidate Sean Bishop’s name has been corrected.
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — For the first time in about a decade, Gresham will be electing a new mayor, one of 5 men running to permanently replace Shane Bemis, who stepped down in June.
The city council appointed Karylinn Echols to replace Bemis as the new mayor but she pledged not to run.
KOIN 6 News asked all 5 candidates — Eddy Morales, Joe Demers, Travis Stovall, Sean Bishop and Nick Switzer — to talk about the issues. Only 3 responded — Morales, Demers, Stovall.
Morales is a Gresham City Council member who lives in Gresham with his partner and is a small business owner. Demers is a father of 4 who is a commercial driver with a sanitation company. And Stovall is a business owner who also serves on the TriMet board.
They discussed issues like police reform and the city’s budget deficit.
One of these candidates will become the mayor of Oregon’s 4th-largest city.
Bemis, who was on the city council and then mayor of Gresham for a total of 18 years, resigned days after both the Gresham police chief and city manager announced their impending retirements.
Bemis — who is also a restaurant owner, husband and father — said at that time he is stepping down as mayor to be able to focus on fighting to keep his business afloat and provide for his family. Bemis said the choice “is the most difficult decision I’ve ever faced.”
Echols, who was the Council president, joined the Gresham City Council in 2011.
KOIN 6 News will have more information later.