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Have crutches, will campaign


Of the Keizertimes

Some potential elected officials in Keizer are really hobbling around.

Candidates for Keizer City Council and mayoral races have until the end of the day Tuesday, Aug. 26 to file for this fall’s election.

There are currently five candidates for four open seats. Cathy Clark is the only candidate for mayor, a position being vacated by Lore Christopher after 14 years. There are four council candidates: Roland Herrera, Brandon Smith, Amy Ripp and Matthew Chappell. Ripp and Chappell are both competing for the council No. 5 seat currently held by council president Joe Egli, who is not running.

Herrera is running for the council seat Clark is vacating, while former councilor and current Keizer Parks Board chair Smith is running to replace Jim Taylor, who hopes to take over Smith’s Parks Board seat.

Anyone wishing to run must file with city recorder Tracy Davis and have all materials – including 120 signatures – into Davis by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Clark – a councilor since 2007 – and Ripp have something strange in common: they are both currently on crutches. In other words, 40 percent of the candidates to date are on crutches.

Davis noted this is the first time in her 23 years with the city she’s heard of multiple candidates being on crutches at the same time.

“It shows we’re active and that we are troopers,” Ripp said Tuesday with a laugh. “We have the fortitude to work through anything.”

Clark said prior to Monday’s council meeting she knew about Ripp’s similar predicament.

“I’m painfully aware,” Clark quipped. “When you have something like this happen, you hear stories from others. I know of four other people who have done something similar in the past two weeks.”

According to Clark, she took a bad step and rolled her left ankle on Aug. 6. The timing wasn’t ideal, as she was active in helping at the all-day RIVERfair event three days later.

Things are already getting better for Clark, who hobbled into council chambers with just one crutch on Monday.

“It’s healing nicely,” she said. “I’m just thankful it is healing.”

Despite the injury and – to this point – the lack of an opponent, Clark still plans to get out and meet voters.

“I’ll be doing some walking,” she said. “I love connecting to people and hearing their great ideas for this city. I also want to ensure a smooth transition (from Christopher).”

Ripp’s injury story is a little better.

“I was rafting on the Deschutes River and hit my foot on a rock,” Ripp said of the Aug. 9 incident. “I was going to swim and hit my foot on a rock. I had no idea it was there.”

Ripp said she’ll have at least a month on crutches but looks to make up for some lost time.

“I had anticipated I would start walking (door-to-door) in early August,” she said. “I’m a little behind on that. Hopefully by the end of the month I’ll be going door-to-door. You can’t slow me down.”

Since she was in Bend on a working vacation at the time, Ripp didn’t realize at first Clark was also injured.

“I wasn’t in the loop about what she had done,” Ripp said. “We’ve gone to lunches where we were both on crutches. It’s pretty funny.”

Ripp feels a little better about how she got injured.

“I didn’t trip or anything, I just hit a rock and didn’t see it,” she said. “If I trip over myself walking down the street, that’s another thing. But this won’t slow me down too much.”