Primary election results: Tigan leads against Coleman for Salem City Council Ward 1

Paul Tigan and Celine Coleman, candidates for Salem City Council Ward 1.
Paul Tigan and Celine Coleman, candidates for Salem City Council Ward 1.

Paul Tigan is leading by a substantial margin in the race against Celine Coleman to be Salem's next Ward 1 councilor, according to initial results posted by Marion and Polk counties at 8 p.m.

Tigan said the results were a great start and he would be ready to get to work.

"I'm feeling very humbled and grateful for the support from Ward 1 voters," he said.

The two political newcomers are vying to represent downtown Salem, parts of West Salem and north-central Salem in the incumbent-free race for Ward 1 on the Salem City Council.

There is no incumbent for the position because City Council President Virginia Stapleton decided to run for the Legislature in hopes of challenging state Rep. Kevin Mannix, R-Salem, for House District 21 in the general election.

Paul Tigan is a Salem City Council candidate for ward 1 on April 9 in Salem.
Paul Tigan is a Salem City Council candidate for ward 1 on April 9 in Salem.

Tigan, the vice president of environment and sustainability with a creative and strategic agency, said his focus is on themes: a sustainable Salem with fiscal and environmental sustainability, a thriving Salem with investment and business in downtown, and safe Salem with attention on homelessness and gun violence.

He previously worked as a field manager with the Bureau of Land Management. Since moving to Salem in 2015, he has served on the Salem Planning Commission, Salem Budget Committee and Grant Neighborhood Association.

He said his two kids, now 9 and 13 in the Salem-Keizer Public Schools, were a driving factor behind his decision to run for council.

"When I think about the ... what kind of city are we passing on to them?" Tigan said. "I really want Salem to be the best version of itself for the next generation and the generations to come."

Celine Coleman runs for Ward 1 Councilor of Salem on April 11.
Celine Coleman runs for Ward 1 Councilor of Salem on April 11.

Coleman, an epidemiologist with Marion County Public Health, listed her top concerns as homelessness, an increase in violence and a lack of collaboration.

Coleman previously worked for a public health agency in Arizona before moving to Salem in 2022 and listed experience with Linn County Public Health, the Salem NAACP, grant allocations as a United Way Committee member, being elected to her homeowner's association, the Oregon Jamboree and Kids for Culture.

"I think I have a lot to offer," Coleman said. "Being a person that transplanted here and working with different levels of government with my current job and prior job with the county. I think you recognize where you have to compromise and listen ... It's about bettering the community."

Campaign funding for the Ward 1 race

Despite having an early campaign season with fewer big-money donors, the Ward 1 race has attracted bigger campaign contributions with most going to Coleman.

As of May 10, Coleman raised $21,291 in cash and in-kind contributions. Her campaign's biggest donors were $16,112 from the Oregon Realtors Political Action Committee and $1,573 from Marion Polk First PAC.

Tigan raised $12,833 in cash and in-kind contributions as of May 10. His biggest donors include individual donations such as $3,000 from Frank Taussig, $500 from Kristin Miller and $500 from Trevor Phillips, as well as $400 from the Marion County Democratic Central Committee.

Tigan said he's surprised by the large amount in donations coming to Coleman's campaign from political action groups. He said his campaign is "people powered" and comprised of volunteers and donations from neighbors.

Coleman said although those in-kind donations are considered controversial by some, she is grateful for the assistance she's received and the people she's met.

"Collaboration is a focal point of my campaign and that's why I continue to run my campaign in a nonpartisan way," she said.

For questions, comments and news tips, email reporter Whitney Woodworth at wmwoodworth@statesmanjournal.com call 503-910-6616 or follow on Twitter at @wmwoodworth.

This article originally appeared on Salem Statesman Journal: Election results: Tigan leads in race against Coleman for Salem City Council seat