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Martin, Dotterrer win county commissioner races

Republican Dave Dotterrer and Democrat Terrie Martin came out as winners Tuesday in the primary races for Jackson County commissioner, according to preliminary election results.

“I’m just delighted,” said Martin, stepping out from between Zoom meetings with Oregon Indivisible and other Democrats around the state. “It’s really fun that people paid attention and found out who I was and signed up to support.”

In results released at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Martin had received 85.1% of the vote, trailed by Robert Bierma with 13.9%.

In the Republican primary, Dotterrer had 71.5% of the vote, leading opponents Curt Ankerberg and Curtis Sather, who had received 22.7% and 5.3%, respectively.

“I’m elated by the widespread support,” Dotterrer said. “And now it’s time to move on to the general election and reach out to all the voters.”

The two winners will face off in the Nov. 3 election for the seat vacated by Bob Strosser. Strosser has been a commissioner since January 2017.

Ankerberg’s loss makes for his 13th straight defeat when running for office. He has refused to speak with Mail Tribune reporters in the past after the newspaper published stories related to his language toward local women and a tax fraud investigation he underwent.

Sather, a White City resident, said he expected a lack of name recognition to hamper him in the election. He decided to commit to running in the week before the candidate filing deadline, he said.

Sather missed the deadline to get information into the voters pamphlet, however, and he didn’t publish a website or other remote ways for people to learn about him.

Several candidates talked about how precautionary restrictions around COVID-19 had affected their ability to meet with and hear from voters in the weeks leading up to the election.

“I like to go door to door, I like to get out and talk to people,” Dotterrer said. “And I haven’t been able to do that.”

Dotterrer and Martin both described ways they tried to connect with voters remotely.

For Dotterrer, that took place mostly over the phone: He put his contact information in the Voters’ Pamphlet and had conversations with about four to five people per week.

“I would prefer to do things by phone and actually talk with people,” he said. “It’s a lot easier to explain my position and to talk about what I think about particular issues.”

Martin said she participated in video calls with local organizations and made lawn signs available to get the word out about her campaign.

“I think these last eight weeks have been all about name familiarity,” she said.

Both remaining candidates said they are looking forward to discussing the issues important to voters in the coming months: from the ongoing jail capacity discussion to homelessness and other topics.

“We’re going to be taking a look at these election results and ... look at lessons learned,” Dotterrer said.

“We’re going to have to start getting ... into what the issues are for the county and coming up with solutions,” Martin said. “It’s really fun to know that people are out there and they think that you have the right stuff to do this.”

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Kaylee Tornay at ktornay@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4497. Follow her on Twitter @ka_tornay.

Terrie Martin, courtesy of Drew Fleming.
Dave Dotterrer