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May special election candidates debate in Bend


The May special election is less than two weeks away. Candidates for two different boards’ positions squared off in Bend for a debate Thursday night, hosted by the Central Oregon Association of Realtors.

There was one for the Bend Parks and Recreation District Board, and the other for the Bend-La Pine School Board.

There are nine candidates running for school board positions 1, 3, 5 and 6…

Two candidates at the debate are running for the Parks and Rec Board Position 1. NewsChannel 21 asked those two candidates why people should vote for them.

“I think our parks operates at a very high level, and I don’t want to see that decrease,” Travis Davis said. “I do want the parks department to have a more broad community vision. I want the parks to support community priorities that might lie outside of traditional parks priorities, such as affordable housing and child care.”

Ariel Mendez said, “I want to help the parks district think a little more broadly about its role in the community. For example, how people are actually getting to the places they’re going. We’ve got these great destinations, and we’ve got these great trails, but they don’t always go where you want to go. So if we think a little bit more broadly in terms of how people are getting there, I think we’re going to all be better off.”

The candidates for the Bend-La Pine School Board positions debated a number of topics, from school funding to gun violence.

Election day is May 21, and ballots must be in county clerks’ offices or a drop box by 8 o’clock that night. For more Deschutes County election information, visit

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