No Democrats file for Jackson County commissioner races

Democratic challengers failed to file for the two open Jackson County commissioner races this November.

On Tuesday, the last day to file for the primary, four Republicans had filed to run for the two open seats but no Democrats.

Rick Dyer and Henry Marlow square off for the seat now held by Don Skundrick, while Joel Ockunzzi and Colleen Roberts face off for John Rachor's seat. The two current commissioners, both Republicans, opted not to run again.

Lynn Howe, chairwoman of Jackson County Democrats, said Democrats' attention has been diverted by other pressing local issues that include creation of a library district, funding for the extension services and the effort to make the county GMO free.

"A lot of energy is going into the immediacy of these concerns," she said.

A couple of Democratic challengers have come forward in two representative races: in House District 4, which will be vacated by Dennis Richardson, and in House District 55, represented currently by Mike McLane of Powell Butte

In House District 4, Democrat Darlene Taylor of Central Point and Republican Duane Stark of Grants Pass are the only candidates in the primary election.

In House District 55, Democrat Richard Phay of Prineville is challenging McLane. District 55 encompasses a large swath of Jackson County from the border of Medford through Eagle Point and over the Cascades.

Two other representatives, Democrat Peter Buckley in House District 5 and Republican Sal Esquivel in House District 6, drew no opposition.

Republican Dave Dotterrer will challenge incumbent Democrat Alan Bates for the Senate District 3 seat.

— Damian Mann

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