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County candidates face Tuesday primary deadline

Candidates who want to appear on Oregon's May 20 primary ballot have until 5 p.m. Tuesday to file.

Open positions that candidates must file for at the Jackson County Clerk's office include a county commission seat, and the jobs of assessor, clerk and surveyor.

Candidates for district attorney, four judgeships on the Jackson County Circuit Court, as well as state and national senators and representatives must file with the Oregon Secretary of State. They can register in Salem or online at www.sos.state.or.us/elections, where mail-in information is also available.

Citizens who want to vote in the May primary must register to vote by April 29.

Filings so far for the county commission seat include incumbent C.W. Smith on the Republican ticket and Jim Olney on the Democratic ticket, although party leaders said last month that other Democrats might enter the race.

Incumbent Dan Ross and local appraiser Roy Wright have filed for ballot spots in the nonpartisan assessor's race. Darrell L. Huck is the only candidate so far for county surveyor. On the ballot for the clerk's job are Chris Walker (appointed clerk after Kathy Beckett retired), Cheryl Avgeris, and Colleen Roberts.

The county clerk position must be elected at a general election. If a candidate wins a majority in the primary election, that candidate's name will appear alone on the November ballot.

Correction: See below

For the other nonpartisan positions, any candidate who receives more than 50 percent of the vote in the primary would be elected to the position. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent, a runoff election would be held in November.

Incumbent Mark Huddleston is the only candidate so far for the nonpartisan district attorney post.

On the Circuit Court bench, Lorenzo Mejia and Mark Schively each face no challengers yet. Tim Barnack, Doug McGeary and John Norton vie for the judgeship being vacated by Rebecca Orf; and Joe Charter, Tom Dzieman, Lisa Greif and Paul Henderson vie for the judgeship being vacated by Bill Purdy.

In the race to represent the Fourth District in the Oregon House of Representatives, Ronald Schutz will challenge incumbent Dennis Richardson for the Republican spot, but no Democrats have signed on.

No challengers from either party have filed to face Fifth District Rep. Peter Buckley or Sixth District Rep. Sal Esquivel or 55th District Rep. George Gilman.

In the state Senate races, Jeff Kruse in the First District 1, Jason Atkinson in the Second District, and Doug Whitsett in the 28th District, each have no opponents from either party.

Chris Walker, acting county clerk, said a few last minute filers are common.

However, she wants to encourage would-be voters not to wait until the last minute to register. Although the deadline to register isn't until April 29, that will be a busy time for the clerk's office as they prepare to send out ballots and expect to be verifying signatures on a ballot proposal for a heritage district. A large number of last-minute registrations could bog down the office and prevent new voters from getting their ballots in a timely fashion. Organizations doing registration drives are especially encouraged to turn in their efforts by mid-April, she said.

Reach reporter Anita Burke at 776-4485 or at aburke@mailtribune.com

Correction: The original version of this story omitted details about the requirements for the clerk's election. This version has been corrected.