The choice for Jackson County commissioner, Position 1, comes down to experience and preparation.
Commissioner Rick Dyer, a Republican, has served half of his one term as chairman of the three-member Board of Commissioners, taking over the post after former Commissioner Doug Breidenthal was removed as chairman when he became the subject of an ethics investigation.
A businessman, Dyer was elected to two terms on the Rogue Valley Transportation District board before seeking the county position. He has approached the job as a pragmatist, not an ideologue.
Democrat Amy Thuren is executive director of The Valley School, a Medford charter school, and a former director of the local chapter of the American Red Cross and of Consumer Credit Counseling. She has served on the Community Action Committee of Jackson Care Connect and as a member of the Medford Arts Commission.
Thuren is enthusiastic and capable, but cannot match Dyer’s experience in elected office. In their joint interview with the Editorial Board, she was surprised to learn that there is a county initiative on the ballot seeking to block restrictions on firearms.
Both Thuren and Dyer say the county needs more jail space and support efforts to create jobs and build affordable housing.
The third candidate, Libertarian Frank Brannen, has no governmental experience to offer beyond one campaign for state representative and service on the Libertarian Party’s board of directors.
Dyer and Thuren are both attractive candidates, but his record in office gives him the edge. We recommend Dyer for Jackson County commissioner, Position 1.