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Neck and neck

The race between state Sen. Alan Bates, D-Medford, and Dave Dotterrer, R-Ashland, is shaping up to be a real nail-biter, and it could determine which party will hold the majority of seats in the Oregon Senate.

Sixteen positions in the 30-seat Senate will be decided in the Nov. 4 election. However, the race for Senate District 3, which includes Medford, Ashland and most of the southern parts of Jackson County, is said to be the most competitive.

“We have the closest district in the state,” said Bates, who also is running on the Working Families ticket. “It’ll probably be settled by 1,000 votes.”

As of September, there were about 4 percent more Republicans registered to vote in Jackson County than Democrats. However, nearly 30 percent of the voters are nonaffiliated or Independent.

And then there’s Pacific Green Party candidate Art Krueger, a retired forest ranger who could possibly pull votes from the Democratic ticket.

Dotterrer, who was a colonel in the U.S. Marines, challenged Bates for the seat in 2010 and lost by fewer than 300 votes.

“It’s going to be a close race just like last time,” said Dotterrer, who is also on the Independent and Libertarian tickets.

This time around, the hot issues on the table include education and health care reform, the employment rate, minimum wage, legalization of marijuana, kicker checks and whether to label food containing genetically modified organisms. 

Correction: The story incorrectly stated there were more Democrats than Republicans registered to vote in Jackson County.

Dave Dotterrer
Alan Bates