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Lincoln City Mayor Election

Five residents will be on the ballot for Lincoln City Mayor, including a former mayor, current and former city councilors, a fiscal administrator and a surfer.

The mayor vacancy, created by Dick Anderson’s upward move to the Oregon State Senate, forced the Lincoln City City Council to make a decision whether to appoint a new mayor to finish off Anderson’s term or to bring it to voters for a special election. Council opted for the latter and an election will be held May 18.

Whoever wins will fill the role of Lincoln City Mayor for 18 months.

Don Williams

Don Williams for Lincoln City Mayor

Former Lincoln City Mayor Don Williams has thrown his hat back in the ring to finish Anderson’s term because he says the people of Lincoln City need it.

“Lincoln City has many challenges. It needs consistent, experienced leadership,” Williams said. “As a former planning commissioner and former mayor of this great city, I am ready and able to work for all the people from day one. I’m fully qualified and experienced to step into the mayor’s position so that I would be able to serve with little lag time.”

Williams was Lincoln City Mayor from 2014-2018, having won in a landslide against City Councilor Roger Sprague. He and his wife, Debbie, have started and operated four businesses and his son has founded two.

“Lincoln City is so full of opportunities for those that dream,” he said. “As mayor I always advocated for dreamers; whether entrepreneurs in business or charities to help those in need. My goal was to eliminate barriers to success, to encourage our youth to see a future here and to grow our citizenship.”

Susan Wahlke

Susan Wahlke for Lincoln City Mayor

Susan Wahlke, a Lincoln County resident for 30 years, wants to be Lincoln City’s next Mayor because she feels that she is the most qualified person for the office.

“This past year has been challenging for all of us and we need to work together to expand our economy beyond tourism, attract new businesses and help our current businesses to grow,” Wahlke said. “We need to continue to maintain and strengthen our infrastructure and budget for our long-term needs. As Mayor I will listen. In a leadership role, often listening is more important than talking. I have the skills and experience necessary to be Lincoln City’s next Mayor.”

Wahlke raised two daughters who graduated from Taft High in Lincoln City, where she was a legal secretary for many years. She has served on the Chamber of Commerce board, Lincoln City Budget Committee and as a Ward 1 City Councilor. Wahlke has also been chair of the Urban Renewal Agency, and was elected by peers as Council President. She currently serves on the Devils Lake Water Improvement District Budget Committee, Kiwanis Club of Lincoln City as secretary, non-profit Business for Excellence in Youth as treasurer, Bay Area Merchants Association as president, and American Association of University Women as Northwest District Director.

Fernando Garza

Fernando Garza for Lincoln City Mayor

Fernando Garza has been a Lincoln City resident for five years and has 25 years of experience in fiscal and senior administration departments. He’s worked with budgets, nonprofits and has developed and facilitated English training for Spanish speakers.

Garza says he has been watching Lincoln City government for four years, studying budgets and analyzing city officials and their decisions. Garza’s plan “is to show everyone that being mayor is about getting incredibly involved, by showing that I care about the people of this city, about listening and doing my best to help make changes happen.”

“A rising tide lifts all boats, but we need to remember that not everyone in Lincoln City is in the boat yet,” Garza said. “There are many challenges we face that have existed for decades, high levels of homelessness, lack of safety planning, irresponsible economic development projects and a local government without accountability. These are all difficult problems that can only be fixed with strong focus and commitment. I’m ready to make that commitment because I am dedicating my life to making Lincoln City better.”

Riley Hoagland

Riley Hoagland for Mayor

Riley Hoagland is a sitting Ward 2 City Councilor who is also the Budget Committee Chairman.

“The city needs a leader who represents the working parents, the small business owners, entrepreneurs, and independent contractors,” Hoagland said. “I believe I am the best candidate for office. My experience in local government has been listening, learning, and love.”

Hoagland is an avid outdoorsman whose passions involve hiking, fishing and kayaking. He says Lincoln City is “paradise” and he “can’t get over these sunsets over the Pacific Ocean.” Hoagland says he knows how the city works and will ask the important questions to make Lincoln City better (like soap in all the outdoor public restrooms).

“I listen to residents, vacationers, and employees and take that time seriously,” Hoagland said. “It’s a place where I learn what the city needs. I make myself available and am open to new ideas and perspectives outside of my own. I take pride in our town and enjoy seeing it grow and flourish as an inclusive, family-oriented, rural Oregon beach town.”

John Forse

John Forse for Mayor of Lincoln City

Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic surfing competition founder John Forse is running for mayor because, “there are improprieties with the top three administrators at City Hall, that need to be reviewed and subdued for their suitability for employment.”

“It’s amazing they got in there in the first place based on their questionable resumes,” Forse said. “The last two or three years they’ve been here, they have proven time and time again their level of incompetence.”

Although Forse has no experience with city government, he says after reviewing transcripts, attending meetings and personal experiences with city staff, “common sense shows the City Attorney, City Manager and the head of Explore Lincoln City need to go.”


Stacey Baird withdrew from the mayoral race.

Justin Wernerhttps://lchomepage.com
I'm publisher of Lincoln City Homepage. Also the web guy, photographer, cameraman, video editor, sportswriter, tech support, beat reporter, cat trainer and e-bike enthusiast. I have a passion for telling people's stories and keeping my fellow citizens informed.

Welcome to the comments section. Feel free to speak your mind about topics raised in this article, but please be aware insulting or hateful comments will be removed. Please don’t abuse the anonymity we provide or we will block your access to this website. Have fun and thank you for engaging in discourse on our site.


  1. Why wasn’t Don Williams in the election pamphlet with the other candidates. Was this election bias by publisher?

  2. I went down a list of Lincoln City employees a few years ago and was shocked to see how many of them have serious criminal records. Drugs, violence, sexual crimes. I would guess that they will put more criminals in office to support the criminal employees, like the rapist police sergeant or the drunk slasher that works the front desk at the community center.

  3. Outstanding comment Fran!
    I forgot about that ridiculous urban renewal, as well as these 4 individuals
    have had their chance to make a difference, and perhaps they have,
    what that difference is, is arguable without paying far more attention
    to city council meetings, which, frankly, while interesting at times, are
    a little boring, but to get to speak your peace, you need to bite the bullet.
    It does take something to take an unpaid position, including the mayor,
    it’s something I probably wouldn’t be willing to do.

  4. Fran n Kevin,you are both right!!!I will research Mr.Garza and his ideas for our city and residents!!We do need someone not in “the system”.

  5. We need new blood for Mayor! Anyone who on the Council or Mayor voted to yes to the 87 million dollar Urban Renewal does not understand economics. All of these people, except for Mr. Gardza, have had a chance on the Council or as The Previous Mayor, to demonstrate they do not have a clue how much they are costing the residents tax increases and in city services (they voted to have an increase in garbage services durning the COVID pandemic).
    Please vote for Mr. Gardz, so we the Residents of Lincoln City can have someone on the Council that understands we are tired of high taxes and excessive spending!!!!!!

  6. Well, they can hope, but what they’ll need are our votes. First- my household
    won’t be voting for a council member who displayed a black lives matter
    sign while on video chat. Now, I have a niece and nephew of mixed race,
    my nephew is an officer currently serving overseas, my niece, could be a model. So, save your derogatory comments about me being a racist, I’m
    sure they’re coming.
    Unfortunately, black lives matter is a dubious mix of people, who shouldn’t
    be protesting at night, or committing crimes, like we see on tv.
    What I’d like to see is someone who would help the city, put a cap on VRD
    units, there will never be housing for working class residents if every new house is a VRD, unless you want to live in an apartment. I don’t care about
    political affiliations, it becomes evident by actions. More parking for tourists,
    there are open spaces right now that could be used, close to downtown.
    Wishy washy generalist statements are an affront to the collective intelligence
    of the voters. “Lets help the city grow, and expand this and that” Maybe some
    infrastructure and thought about consequences would be a good idea.
    My neighborhood has been destroyed by the planning dept, and the city
    council who never gave any thought to the consequences of their decisions,
    thinking only of more money from taxes. I’m familiar with the “not in my
    neighborhood” position, well, neighborhoods are going to decide if you
    get to be mayor. I’ve seen and spoken at enough city council meetings in person and on video to know who is qualified, and that includes citizen speakers, who made very poor performances. I am glad to see one individual
    dropped out, a wise choice on your part. I do get around. So, now, who will
    attempt to deflate my left handed, triple digit IQ superiority complex, maybe
    you can traumatize me into obscurity.

  7. Robert, take a civics lesson. The mayoral position in Lincoln City has a much different set of duties and oversight than in Portland. Your fake boogeyman isn’t scaring anyone who has more than a shred of intelligence. While I agree that knowing which party they represent is important, it is more important to judge these candidates on the skills and experiences they bring to the table. But that requires critical thinking skills that you evidently don’t possess.

  8. All people in this small community be careful who you vote for Mayor. Look what happened to Portland, Oregon. It all starts in the smallest office of your communities. Be sure you know what party they each represent.


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Candidates for Ward 1 City Councilor

Two Lincoln City citizens have stepped forward to fill a vacant Ward 1 City Councilor position created by the resignation of Diana Hinton.


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