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Old and new candidates move into Newport Council race

With two seats up for election on the Newport City Council, there are opportunities for new candidates to move in.

City Council members Roz Johnson and Tracy Rahm’s seats are both on the ballot this fall.

Johnson — who was appointed to the seat after Dan Lund vacated it by being elected mayor — said she will not be running for election to keep her seat.

“My two years that I’ve served, it’s been a real eye-opener,” she said. “And I did enjoy my time.”  

Johnson owns Johnson Auto Body with her husband. Having the time commitment of the City Council in addition to being a business owner isn’t feasible anymore, she said.

“Our business has picked up … we’ve gotten a lot busier,” she said. “And I have some opportunities coming up that I’ll need to focus on.”

Council member Tracy Rahm said he would stick to his self-imposed two-term limit and opt not to run for re-election.

“It has been my honor to serve the residents of Newport these past eight years,” Rahm said in an email. “I am proud of the initiatives I promoted and supported while on council like financial transparency, fiscal responsibility, city infrastructure and appearance improvements, and economic development that have largely been achieved, or are in major progress.”

He said he’s proud of the improved look along the highway corridors and being involved in the “best turnaround story in south Washington County,” while maintaining city finances and financial ratings.

New candidates

Tom Ingemann, former City Council member and retired Newport assistant fire chief, decided to try for his old seat again in this election. Ingemann, 73, lost re-election in 2016.

Ingemann could not be reached by press time.

Anita Wasmundt, 60, has lived in Newport for eight years, but said she recently started attending City Council meetings, hoping to get more involved. Becoming a candidate was the next step.

“Community is important to me, and this is a way to be involved with the community,” Wasmundt said. “To be there … is a better way to be involved.”

She said family is also important to her, and spends a lot of time with her daughter and two grandchildren.

Working as a tech supporter for mainframe computers, Wasmundt fills her time outside of work with volunteer work, including at the Newport Library.

Nathan Knox said he wanted to run because he feels it’s every citizens’ duty to be more involved with the government and stay in touch with what’s happening in their community.

“I’m running for City Council to help and do my duty,” he said.

The filing period ends Aug. 14.