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Central Oregon’s May primary ballot features several contested races, big money measures

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BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – The May 17 primary election ballot is set – and it’s bound to be a lengthy one, with (for example) three-dozen candidates for governor, nearly evenly split between Republicans (19) and Democrats (17).

Then there are the six congressional seats, other statewide positions and dozens of legislative races, all in newly drawn redistricting boundaries after the 2020 census -- likely to surprise, if not confuse many voters who have not been following that process closely, until a new voter registration card arrives.

But since Oregon Republicans and Democrats have “closed" party primaries, only party members will see each list of candidates, except for non-partisan races.

However, there are also several local contested races and major money measures facing voters, now that Tuesday’s filing deadline has passed.

Deschutes County Commissioner Tony DeBone, seeking reelection, faces two Republican challengers, Thomas McManus and Scott Stuart. The winner faces Democrat Oliver Tatom in November.

Fellow Commissioner Patti Adair, seeking a second four-year term, is unopposed in the primary and will face Democrat Morgan Schmidt in the fall.

In Crook County, where commissioner positions are non-partisan, incumbent Brian Barney faces challenger Corey Whalen.

Jefferson County also has non-partisan commissioners, and two contested races. Incumbent Mae Huston faces challengers Laurie Danzuka and Mark Wunsch, and incumbent Kelly Simmelink faces challenger Sabria Rios.

Jefferson County Sheriff Marc Heckathorn, appointed to succeed Jim Adkins when he retired, faces two challengers in his first bid for a full term, Rick DuPont and Jason Pollock.

Deschutes County has two larger money measures on the ballot, quite similar in nature, as the resort community of Sunriver requests a $7 million levy to help fund its renovated, expanded public safety building and the city of Redmond requests a $40 million bond measure to build a new, larger police headquarters.

The Crook County School District, meanwhile, has a $66 million bond measure on the ballot to repair and update schools and add classrooms at three schools, to address overcrowding.

To look up the candidates in statewide and legislative races:

For more info on local races and measures:

Article Topic Follows: Election

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Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.


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