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Error disqualifies state candidate

An error by the Josephine County elections committee disqualified Ronald Shutz from running for state representative in the May 20 election.

Earlier this week, the committee learned from the Daily Courier newspaper in Grants Pass that Shutz's home was one block beyond the District 4 boundary, making him ineligible to seek the position, said Art Harvey, chief deputy clerk for Josephine County.

"Once we discovered the error it was too late to change the ballots," Harvey said. "We apologize to Mr. Shutz and the voters for the inconvenience."

Shutz lives in a relatively new subdivision on Linden Lane in the southeast end of Grants Pass.

The committee has issued the correct ballot to the voters who live in the 25 residences that were placed along with Shutz's in the wrong district, Harvey said.

Harvey discovered the snafu at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and personally scouted the area to make sure it fell beyond the District 4 boundary.

Shutz planned to run against incumbent Dennis Richardson for the Oregon House District 4 seat before learning he actually lives just inside District 3. Any votes cast for Shutz will not be counted, election officials said.

It's also too late for Shutz to contend for the District 3 spot, Harvey said.

"I'm just glad I didn't spend a lot of money on my campaign," Shutz said.

Shutz, 65, who grew up in Texas and is a retired California Department of Transportation supervisor, said he would have worked to make the Legislature more fiscally efficient.

Shutz took the news in stride Friday, saying he was disappointed to be shut out of the political process, but hinted he might make a run for Grants Pass mayor in November.

"I hear a lot of people saying they'd like to see things changed, but I figure why not just put your hat in the ring and change them yourself," he said.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 776-4471; or e-mail cconrad@mailtribune.com.