The Lincoln County Democratic Party Central Committee and the Lincoln City Democratic Club by the Sea have endorsed four candidates for the May 18 special election: Susan Wahlke for Lincoln City mayor and, in the Lincoln County School Board races, Mike Rawles (Zone 3) Peter Vince (Zone 4) and Senitila McKinley (Zone 5). 

Michael Gaskill, Lincoln County Democratic Party Central Committee chairman, noted that all four candidates are running on platforms that reflect the progressive values of the Lincoln County Democrats. “Local elections matter, but despite our voices and votes having more impact in these races, many people don’t take an active role or even vote for these important offices,” he said. “We hope to change that pattern by encouraging Democrats and progressive independents to take an active interest in these decisions that will have a direct impact on their lives and, in the case of the school board elections, on the lives of our county’s children.”

Susan Wahlke, a 30-year Lincoln County resident, has served on the Lincoln City Chamber of Commerce board, as chair of the Urban Renewal Agency and Lincoln City Budget Committee and as a Lincoln City Ward 1 city councilor. She was elected by her peers as council president.

Mike Rawles served as data acquisition program manager at the National Weather Service and has taught in the Lincoln County School District’s after school programs. He earned his MBA degree from Willamette University. During his tenure with the National Weather Service in Montana, he served as liaison with local, state, tribal and federal entities, seeking to improve severe weather alerts to rural areas and teaching citizens and the authorities how to respond to each crisis such as blizzards, flood, tornados, high wind warnings and prairie fire 

Peter Vince is a retired teacher with 33 years of experience, including 28 years teaching English, Spanish and journalism at Toledo High School, where he developed innovative programs that included video production, the integrated, project-based systems and cycles class, and positive climate building leadership classes. He holds a master’s degree in secondary education from Eastern Oregon University and has served as district board vice president of the Greater Toledo Pool Recreation District.

Senitila McKinley is the founder and executive director of Seashore Family Literacy. She has served as a Lincoln County School District Special Education teaching assistant family advocate, as a 21st Century Community Learning Centers district coordinator, and as district homeless liaison. An ordained Episcopal minister, she was a 1995 National Institute for Literacy Fellow and served on the steering committee of Laubach Literacy (now known as ProLiteracy Worldwide), an international organization supporting programs helping adults learn to read and write. From 2001- 2004, she served on Oregon’s Department of Education Special Education Council.

In keeping with the Democratic Party’s mission to promote the election of Democratic candidates at every level with technical and volunteer support, providing opportunities for all Oregon Democrats to participate fully in our political process, Lincoln County’s Democrats are urged to assist in phone banking, postcard mailing and in spreading the word in support of the Democratic endorsees. Information can be accessed at or email to

Submitted by Eliot Sekuler,
Lincoln County Democratic Central Committee.

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