Friday, March 16, 2012
The May 15 Primary Election ballot is now set in place, with the passing of Tuesday's deadline for candidate filings.
There are no surprises on the Hood River County ballot, with no challengers to the County Commission positions, and no names in the Sheriff or District Attorney races we hadn't known about more than a month ago.
(And, given the way of the GOP presidential nomination, and the uncertain status of candidates Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul, any national issues may be moot by the time Oregon voters have their say later this spring.)
A few highlights do stand out as we look ahead to the May 15 Primary:
No one from this end of State House Dist. 52 chose to challenge Republican Mark Johnson of Hood River.
Democrats Peter Nordbye of Brightwood and Marv Hollingsworth of Rhododendron, virtual neighbors in the Highway 26 corridor on the south side of the mountain, will face off for the right to run against Johnson.
The three-way contest for sheriff, between three well-qualified candidates, should spark some constructive discussion about the provision of law enforcement services in Hood River County. Neal Holste, Gerry Tiffany and Matt English have filed to succeed Joe Wampler, who will retire.
The same can be said of the two-man race for district attorney, between incumbent John Sewell and Hood River attorney Brian Aaron (who also ran for the post in 2000). Voters will have the opportunity to compare the two men's ideas for making the most of an increasingly complex elected office.
The lack of any challengers to the three members of the county board of commissioners suggests a level of contentment among voters. Commission chair Ron Rivers and commissioners Les Perkins and Maui Meyer all signed up for further duty, but no one else did.
The county's steady course throughout the "county payments" roller coaster ride (article, page A1) is one suggestion of the general public perception of the county's elected leadership.
Ballots will be sent out April 27. The other critical date to remember is: April 24 - the last day to register to vote. You can still have your say.
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge