Politics & Government

Politics & Government

May Primary Election Results

May 20, 2014

Last updated Wednesday at 9:10am

Note: For more comprehensive results, click on section header.


United States Senator - Democrat
Pavel Goberman    2.92%
Jeff Merkley          91.59%
William Bryk         3.96%

United States Senator – Republican
Monica Wehby        50.38%
Jo Rae Perkins         2.83%
Mark Callahan         6.80%
Timothy I Crawley     2.42%
Jason Conger         37.20%

The deadline to vote in Oregon’s primary election is Tuesday. Voters have until 8 p.m. to drop off their ballots at official county drop sites. Statewide turn-out so far is just under 20 percent.

As of Monday morning, just over 41 thousand Lane County voters had cast their ballots. Lane County Clerk Cheryl Betschart says that’s about 20 percent of registered voters.

Update On Lane Metro

May 19, 2014

Recorded on: May 16th, 2014
Air Date: May 19th, 2014

City Club members and guests will hear about the future of economic development in Lane County with one of the most experienced experts on the subject on May 16. State Representative John Lively will discuss the history and the future of the Lane Metro Partnership. He will relate some success stories and provide an update on the group’s status.

Only one of the three commission positions in Deschutes County  -- Position 1 --is contested in the May 20 Primary.  Incumbent Tony DeBone (Dee-Bone) of LaPine faces challenger Richard Esterman of Sisters for the Republican nomination to the four-year partisan position.

As the only Democrat to file, Jodie Barram of Bend will face the winner in November.

KLCC’s Claude Offenbacher spoke with both GOP candidates.  Here’s Tony DeBone:

Rachael McDonald

The Lane County Board of Commissioners has suspended large events at Emerald Meadows beginning in 2015.  Last summer, neighbors surrounding the park near Mt. Pisgah complained about noise and trash from the Kaleidoscope Music Festival.  A task force of neighbors and promoters agreed to mitigation for this summer’s events, but they could not settle on policies for subsequent years.Tuesday’s vote cancels previously contracted events in 2015, including the Dirty Dash and Faerieworlds.

At noon on Friday, KLCC hosted a candidate forum for the East Lane County Commissioner race. Incumbent Faye Stewart and challengers Joann Ernst, Jose Ortal, and Kevin Matthews answered questions from KLCC listeners and local leaders.

Candidates gave opening statements, then took questions. Issues ranged from rural homelessness to public safety and discrimination laws. Some candidates were prepared with scripts. Everyone was able to answer questions completely in the one-minute response time.

Karen Richards


Ten year incumbent Faye Stewart is being challenged for his seat on the Lane County Board of Commissioners. Joann Ernst, Kevin Matthews and Jose Ortal are running against Stewart for the East Lane County District 5 position. A fifth candidate, Jack Schoolcraft, is "refraining from any further public comment" during the race.

Friday at noon, the four active candidates participated in a live forum. KLCC News Director Tripp Sommer moderated the event. Questions were submitted in advance by listeners and candidates gave timed responses to a variety of issues.

Thursday, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled that an initiative requiring labeling of foods containing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) will move forward. Oregon Right to Know is a coalition working to give Oregonians more information about the food they’re purchasing. Before the initiative makes it to the ballot, supporters have to collect more than 87 thousand signatures. Spokesman Sandeep Kaushik says they plan to hit the streets next week.


Linn County Commissioner John Lindsey, who lives just south of Lebanon, faces an opponent in the  May 20th primary.  Fellow Republican and forestry   heavy-equipment operator Chanz Keeney of Sweet Home is challenging him for Commission Position One. As no Democrat has filed for the four-year term, the primary winner will be unopposed in the November general election.  KLCC’s Claude Offenbacher spoke with each candidate.  We hear first from the incumbent:

John Ryan / KUOW

Fundraising for this November's elections is kicking into high gear. That means candidates are cozying up to people with money. Sometimes, elected officials even get friendly with the companies they regulate.

Elizabeth Gates

Yachats city officials are trying to get ahead of the curve this primary election.  They’re asking voters to pre-approve spending up to $400,000 to secure additional parking in the town core.

On a sunny summer weekend, the coastal town of Yachats is a busy place – hotel rooms are sold out and traffic through town is non-stop.

Brean: “I’ve heard as many as 10,000 people are in town on the 4th of July weekend.”

Yachats Mayor Ron Brean says the city just doesn’t have the parking capacity to meet the need.

Angela Kellner

The race for the position representing Springfield on the Lane County Board of Commissioners has attracted two challengers for incumbent Sid Leiken. Political newcomer Charmaine Rehg and Springfield City Councilor Sheri Moore are taking on the career politician.

Charmaine Rehg is a licensed practical nurse. The St. Louis native moved to Oregon less than 2½ year ago. She serves on the Willamette Jazz Society Board and is a member of the Washburne Homeowner’s Association. Rehg has never held elected office and explains why she’s running for the Lane County Board of Commissioners.


Voters in Douglas County have seven candidates to choose from for County Commission Position Two.

Joe Laurence is vacating his Douglas County Commissioner spot, so none of the seven candidates are incumbents. If no one receives over 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates will face a runoff in November.

Sally McKain is president of the Umpqua Valley League of Women Voters. She says Douglas County voters have typical concerns for their commissioners:

David Nogueras

Republican voters in Oregon's 2nd Congressional District have more than one name to choose from in this month's primary election, for the first time in 8 years. Incumbent Greg Walden is running for his 9th term in Congress. Klamath County Commissioner Dennis Linthicum hopes to unseat him.

The latest filings from the Federal Election Commission show Walden holds a huge advantage in fundraising. He's raised more than 2 million dollars. Linthicum on the other hand has raised just over 18 thousand.

Changing Attitudes About Climate Change

May 5, 2014

Recorded on : May 2, 2014

Air Date: May 5, 2014

City Club’s May 2nd speaker will not discuss whether climate change is occurring or conjecture about whether human behavior contributes to that change. Affirmative answers to both of those questions are taken as given.

Benton County Commissioner Position 1 Candidates

May 5, 2014
Corvallis Gazette-Times

There are four candidates vying to become Benton County's next commissioner. The position is currently held by Linda Modrell, who is retiring after 15 years. Three Democrats and one Republican are seeking their party’s nomination for the May 20 primary. In November voters will decide who will work with current Commissioners Jay Dixon and Annabelle Jaramillo.

Ballots go in the mail Friday for the May 2014 Primary. Election Day is May 20th. Even though it's an off-year election-- with no presidential primary-- officials hope for a good voter turnout.

Only 39 percent of Oregon voters participated in the 2012 primary.  Lane County Clerk Cheryl Betschart expects turnout to be comparable this year-- but hopes for better.

Rachael McDonald

Making an impression on voters one-at-a-time could make a big difference in the contest for West Lane County Commissioner this month. Conservative commissioner Jay Bozievich is being challenged by moderate candidate Dawn Lesley. Both are relying on the "ground-game" to reach voters.

Bozievich: "Hello. I'm Jay Bozievich. I'm your County Commissioner and I'm running for re-election. I'm coming around asking people for their support for May 20th."

Lesley: "Hi. Are you Nancy?" I'm Dawn Lesley and this is my son Clayton and I'm running for County Commissioner."

City of Eugene


Eugene City Manager John Ruiz presented his budget recommendations Tuesday for the next fiscal year. Voters may be asked to pass a levy to support Eugene's Sheldon branch library.

Eugene faces a 2.5 million dollar gap in its general fund for fiscal year 2015. The proposed budget includes cuts to library and recreation programs, park maintenance, human rights and neighborhood services. Eugene Budget Committee chair Laura Illig says this comes out of a nearly year-long process of public meetings.

Lane County Budget Outlook "Stable" For FY2015

Apr 30, 2014
Lane County

It's budget season for municipalities and counties all over Oregon.  Tuesday night, the Eugene City Manager offered his recommendations on how to plug a $2.5 million budget gap.  A few blocks away, Lane County's administrator was doing the same.  The immediate outlook is much rosier for the county.

Interim Administrator Alicia Hays delivered her budget message to the Lane County Budget Committee, saying it has been a rocky year for the county.  Despite this…

Jes Burns

Tom Towslee, state communications director for U.S.  Senator Ron Wyden for almost seven years, will retire June 30th.  After gathering news for United Press International in Washington, D.C., and for Oregon newspapers, Towslee became a news source instead.  In an interview with KLCC’s Claude Offenbacher,  Towslee begins by describing how he came to work for Senator Wyden.

On Friday, May 9 from Noon to 1 p.m., KLCC will host a Candidates Forum for the East Lane County Commissioner’s race, live in the KLCC studio.  KLCC News Director Tripp Sommer will ask questions of the four candidates:

Faye Stewart  (Incumbent)

Joann Ernst

Kevin Matthews

Eugene and Springfield residents could see a boost in their monthly utility fee for wastewater. 

Tammy Smith is with Eugene Public Works. She says the cost of processing wastewater has gone up. In order to meet expenses the wastewater commission is proposing a 3.5 percent increase in regional wastewater rates and a 2.75 percent increase for city residents. Smith says in the city of Eugene…

Smith: "A typical standard residential customer would see $1.09 increase in their wastewater utility fee."

Recorded on: April 25th, 2014

Air Date: April 28th, 2014 

The nonpartisan West Lane County Commissioner represents the western portion of the county from West Eugene north to Junction City and west to the coast. Lane County commissioners will face many challenges in the years ahead, including adjustments to a new county administrator, budget issues caused by decreased federal funding, and rapid expansion of the county’s Community Health Centers to address the needs of the newly insured.

KLCC's Angela Kellner speaks with Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman about the oral arguments heard in a federal courtroom in Eugene Wednesday. The plaintiffs are urging Judge Michael McShane to overturn the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage ban.

Air Date: April 21, 2014

Meeting Date: April 18, 2014

A large institution of higher education in a small- or mid-sized town inevitably influences life in that locale. The Eugene-Springfield area is no exception. The UO brings the benefits of research and innovation, economic development, and employment opportunities. It brings new ideas, resources, and diverse people into the community.

Tiffany Eckert

An unexpected voice has come forward advocating for the homeless in Eugene. 10 year old cancer survivor Keegan Keppner has spent the last 4 months trying to change the way people treat those with no place to sleep. He's met with legislators and Governor John Kitzhaber. Now, Keegan is challenging members of the Eugene City Council to join him for a "sleepover" of sorts. KLCC's Tiffany Eckert spoke with the youngster about his unique proposal.

Keegan: "I'm gonna got to Mr. Ruiz…uh…where is he at dad?"

Three Major Upgrades Needed For Bend's Sewer System

Apr 18, 2014

Three major upgrades are needed for Bend's sewer system, and they need to happen soon. That's according to results from two private engineering firms hired to provide modeling solutions.

Bend's Sewer Infrastructure Advisory Group was presented the results Thursday. The upgrades include a large gravity pipeline, a sewage pumping facility, and several pipe capacity upgrades in the northern part of the city. Assistant City Manager Jon Skidmore says in some areas, existing sewer pipes routinely approach overflow levels.

Angela Kellner

Financial assistance is now available to repair utilities and roads in four Oregon counties after February's ice storm. 

It's been two months since the ice storm hit the Willamette Valley. But residents and businesses are still paying the price. Recently, federal aid became available for Benton, Lane, Linn, and Lincoln counties after President Obama declared the storm a disaster on April 4th.

Oregon's Office of Emergency Management, or O.E.M., announced the Public Assistant Grant Program to help repair property and rebuild infrastructure.

Karen Richards

Tuesday, several local activist groups rallied in front of Eugene’s downtown post office to call on Congress to redirect the country’s tax dollars.

The theme of this year’s tax day gathering was “Fight Climate Change, Not War.” As local taxpayers mailed their returns to the IRS, leaders of social and environmental groups took turns speaking and singing. They asked the government to spend less on defense and allocate more for the environment.