Slattery apparent winner for Council Seat No. 4

Southern Oregon University business professor Dennis Slattery appeared well on his way to defeating semi-retired attorney and judge pro tem Bruce Harrell to claim a seat on the Ashland City Council.

With partial results released after 10 p.m. Tuesday, Slattery received 3,167 votes, or 60 percent of the total, while Harrell brought in 2,092 votes, or 40 percent.

Slattery, husband of Ashland Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sandra Slattery, has wide-ranging ties in the community, from students to members of the business community. Harrell ran a low-key campaign, declining to put up yard signs or to spend much on advertising.

The two competed for the seat being vacated by City Councilor Kate Jackson, who did not seek re-election.

"I started out with the idea that I'd like to serve the community and it looks like it's going to happen," Slattery said on Tuesday night while surrounded by a crowd at Standing Stone Brewing Co. "I'm grateful for the support I got from people. It's been an amazing experience and I'm looking forward to seeing what positive things we can do for Ashland."

Slattery, 56, said Harrell, also 56, was a gentleman to run against.

"In the midst of a campaign, we found a friendship. We didn't go negative on each other," Slattery said.

Harrell was not available for comment Tuesday night.

Dana Fortmiller, Slattery's 26-year-old campaign manager, said she grew up in Ashland and has gotten to know Slattery as she has embarked on her professional career.

"Dennis reaches out across boundaries in this community," Fortmiller said. "He's respected in a lot of different segments. He's so supportive of my generation, and sees us coming into leadership positions in the future."

A 33-year Ashland resident, Slattery often said during his campaign that he wants to leave the town better than he found it.

He spent $2,097 on the race after receiving $2,695 in contributions, according to a Tuesday check of state candidate contribution and expenditure reports.

Harrell spent less than $350, the threshold at which candidates must report spending to the state. He campaigned on promises to rein in what he described as wasteful city government spending.

Staff writer Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or

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