Leader Endorsements

1 Nov

The long-awaited endorsements of the Jefferson County/Arnold Leader have been released! A summary:

Legislative Races

The Leader actually favored the GOP here, endorsing four of its candidates versus two Democrats. The GOP endorsements were: John McCaherty 97th, Paul Wieland 112th, Derrick Good 111th, and Becky Ruth 114th. The first two are no surprise, since these two have also received union endorsements. I’m a bit surprised by the latter two, given the paper’s Democratic bent. Good got the nod because of his volunteer work in the county, including serving on the Charter Commission. Ruth was selected in large part because her opponent, TJ McKenna, is a kid with no life experience.

The two Democrat endorsements are to Senate candidate Joe Fallert (in part because he is middle class, while his opponent, Gary Romine, is wealthy) and 115th District candidate Rich McCane, who at only 33 has an impressive resume.

Notably, the paper did not endorse in the 113th District, in which Jeff Roorda is facing Dan Smith. Both have some shadiness in their backgrounds (Roorda is publicly trying to exploit that of Smith), so I suspect that is why the Leader abstained.

County Races

Here, the Leader went all Democrat, favoring all the incumbents in the executive offices (treasurer, public administrator, sheriff, assessor) as well as the three Democratic candidates for county council. A couple of the paper’s arguments are weak. First, they say GOP assessor candidate Robert Boyer “offers little in the way of a challenge or new ideas.” While he has run an intentional low-key campaign (saying “I don’t believe that the residents of Jefferson County need a political sign at every stretch of roadway to tell them who to vote for”), he has proposed necessary upgrades in technology to make the assessor’s data more accessible to the public.

Second, in pooh-poohing GOP Treasurer candidate Ken Horton’s stated goal of greater transparency, the paper says “the information is now, and always has been, available to anyone who wants to go to the county seat and look at it.” Yeah, no problem!

The Leader’s council endorsements are focused on the idea that we need a council that gets along and is harmonious. Sure, there were some battles amongst the previous council, but I’d judge them more on their results than how they got there. It is hard to argue with Reuter’s case for re-election:

In 2011, we refused to raise the property tax rate, passed a balanced budget, and funded 10 new full-time Sheriff’s Office positions. We refinanced debt, saving more than $2 million, and encouraged new vehicle policies, saving more than $100,000 this year. Because of these efforts, we are lowering the county property tax rate.

The Leader also endorsed judge Bob Wilkins (Dem) for re-election and supports the Hillsboro library tax levy.

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