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Golden for State Senate

Election recommendations usually are fairly easy to decide. One candidate tends to rise above the others. But sometimes, we wish we could recommend more than one.

That’s the case in the race for State Senate District 3.

Jessica Gomez, a Medford businesswoman and aide to Sen. Alan DeBoer, is the Republican nominee, facing Ashland Democrat Jeff Golden, a longtime radio and television host and former Jackson County commissioner.

Both candidates bring strengths, and both are sincere and well-versed in the issues. Most of their differences are of degree, although they part ways on a couple of statewide ballot measures. Gomez supports Measure 104, which would require a three-fifths super-majority in both houses of the Legislature to repeal or reduce tax breaks and tax credits or increase fees. Golden opposes the move as limiting lawmakers’ ability to manage state finances.

Gomez also supports Measure 106, which would prohibit the state from using tax dollars to pay for abortions for women on the Oregon Health Plan, although she says she does not oppose abortion rights. Golden says government provides all kinds of services that some people object to, and needs to be able to do that to function properly.

Golden and Gomez agree that mechanical thinning of overgrown forests and prescribed burning are important tools to address wildfires and the smoke they create.

We wish we could send both of these candidates to Salem. But on balance, we recommend voters choose Golden in Senate District 3.