Port commission remains unchanged

Watson defeats Marquardo by 2,800 votes; Marquardo blames media

May 21, 2005

The face of the Hood River Port Commission remains unchanged with three incumbents retaining their seats in Tuesday’s special election.

Position 1 will once again be held by Fred Duckwall, who begins his second four-year term on July 1. Duckwall beat out challenger Dr. Lars Bergstrom by a vote of 2,629 to 1,657.

“I think basically the election results reaffirmed the direction we should take — and that’s using a balanced approach for development of the waterfront,” said Duckwall.

Don Hosford, the senior member of the port board, has scored a third term in Position 1. He captured the elected role and ousted challenger Cory Roeseler by a vote of 2,529 to 1,722.

“I think people see that the port is moving ahead in a positive direction now and they just want us to get going and make something good happen at the waterfront,” said Hosford.

Neither Roeseler nor Bergstrom were able to be reached on Friday morning for comment about the results of the May 17 ballot tally.

Kathy Watson won her first elected term in the port office by a landslide margin over opponent Craig Marquardo, netting 3,255 votes to his 424. In recent weeks Marquardo has come under media scrutiny for controversial claims about his background, including possession of a Purple Heart that was later discounted by data provided by the National Personnel Records Center in Saint Louis, Mo.

When contacted Friday morning, Marquardo said, “I offer my congratulations to the Hood River News.” After further questioning, including his feelings on why Watson won by so many votes, Marquardo said, “I have no further comment.”

Watson also declined to remark on the wide disparity in the election results. Instead, she expressed gratitude to citizens for granting her a first term on the port board. In October, Watson was appointed to fill a vacancy left by the resignation of Bill Lyons. She ran on a campaign that the port needs to provide the community with a “clear vision” for the waterfront through its pending master planning process.

“I feel my responsibility is to try and create a ‘big tent’ and bring a variety of views into the discussion — not only about the waterfront but about the economy in the Gorge,” said Watson.

All three of the newly elected commissioners are committed to facilitating a public park on Lot 6 at the waterfront. They also want to attract new businesses to the remaining property to provide more family-wage jobs and increase economic development opportunities.

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In the one contested race for Port of Cascade Locks commission, voters cast 118 ballots to Marva Janik to John Randall’s 30.

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