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Green candidate drops from state Senate race

A Pacific Green Party candidate for state Senate District 3 whose elections résumé contained factual errors announced Saturday that he's withdrawing from the race and blamed the errors on Pacific Green Party members.

Speaking by phone, 78-year-old Art Krueger of Jacksonville said he's filed paperwork with state elections officials to formally withdraw from the race for Sen. Alan Bates' seat in the Legislature. Dave Dotterrer, an Ashland Republican, is also seeking the seat.

Krueger's name will still appear on the ballot in Jackson County, along with that of Jackson County Sheriff Mike Winters, who also withdrew from his race too late to have his name removed. Ballots in Oregon's vote by mail election have already been sent out.

The decision by Krueger to withdraw from the race comes after a Mail Tribune reporter in September discovered that Krueger's elections paperwork falsely indicated he had served on city councils in Jacksonville and in Auburn, Calif. Neither city had a record of him serving in such a role. Krueger did serve on the Jacksonville Planning Commission.

Krueger said Saturday he had documents proving the Pacific Green Party was responsible for the false information, but said that he couldn't say any more on the advice of legal counsel.

"Right now, because of the importance (of the race) and the whole dynamics of the situation, it's out of hand," he said.

Krueger's involvement in the race could have a bearing on the outcome of a race that has statewide implications. Republicans have keyed in on defeating Bates, a Medford Democrat, as an opportunity to create a 15-15 split in the state Senate. The race for the seat that stretches from Ashland to Medford has often been tight; in 2010, Bates defeated Dotterrer by 282 votes out of the nearly 50,000 cast.

Krueger had previously described feeling rushed by the election filing process, saying it may have caused confusion about his background.

"The whole thing happened really quick," he said. "People took things into their own hands, so it left me holding the bag."

A representative of the Oregon Secretary of State's Office previously said the filing of false claims in the state Voters' Pamphlet could lead to criminal charges.

Krueger, who has described himself as a lifelong "green" supporter,  told the Mail Tribune in September that he didn't think he had much of a chance in the election and was worried that his candidacy might hurt Bates’ prospects of getting re-elected by siphoning off votes from the Democrat.

Reach reporter Thomas Moriarty at 541-776-4471, or by email at tmoriarty@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter: @ThomasDMoriarty.