John Rachor, the owner of eight Burger King franchises, wants to emphasize his 35 years in business in his bid for the Jackson County commissioner seat now held by Dave Gilmour.
The 61-year-old Central Point resident will be challenging Medford resident Craig Prewitt and Central Point resident Kay Harrison in the May 18 Republican primary.
Medford resident Buck Eichler is running against Jacksonville resident Mark Wisnovsky on the Democratic ticket.
Gold Hill resident Morris W. "Bub" Saltekoff and Medford resident Don Skundrick are Republican contenders for the seat now held by Jack Walker, who says he is running but hasn't filed his candidacy papers yet. No Democrats have filed so far in that race.
Rachor said several businessmen and acquaintances asked him to run for the position.
He started his first Burger King in 1977 across from Rogue Valley Mall. It has since been demolished. Now he runs franchises from Ashland to Canyonville.
A fourth-generation Oregonian, Rachor, who has a wife and two grown children, owns a helicopter that he used to find the Kim family, which became stranded in 2006 in a remote area in Josephine County. He also found a stranded hiker last year in the Applegate area.
Rachor said his campaign platform will emphasize his extensive business background that he will put to good use with the county.
In general, he said he likes the financial direction in which the county has been heading.
"I think the current administration is doing a good job, particularly (County Administrator) Danny Jordan," he said. "I don't have any axes to grind."
Rachor intends to work full time as county commissioner, receiving a salary of about $86,000 annually.
"My goal is to find savings in the budget to recoup whatever it costs to keep me there," he said.
He said his business has been set up so key employees will perform many of his duties.
Because of his volunteer work with search and rescue, Rachor said he would like to expand volunteer activities throughout the county where possible. For instance, he would like to see whether a retired volunteer could perform flagging duties for the road department in exchange for health benefits — something he's not sure would fly with the union.
Rachor would like to consolidate the use of equipment, such as using roads department dump trucks to haul marijuana seizures for the sheriff's department.
He's not sure how many of his ideas will stick, but he thinks it's worth the effort to try. "The main thing is lending my business expertise to the county," he said.
Reach reporter Damian Mann at 776-4476, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.