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DeBoer to run for Buckley's seat

Former Ashland Mayor Alan DeBoer brings significant name recognition to his campaign for House District 5, vowing to change the political strife in Salem.

Sandra Abercrombie, also a Republican, filed candidacy papers in the same race but announced Wednesday she was dropping out after learning that DeBoer was stepping into the race. Late Wednesday, her name was removed from the list of candidates on the Oregon secretary of state’s website.

“We just need one person running,” she said.

With Abercrombie out of the race, DeBoer is unopposed in the Republican primary. Pam Marsh is on the Democratic ticket, hoping to continue with the issues that outgoing Rep. Peter Buckley has championed. Buckley has announced he will not run for re-election.

DeBoer, a 65-year-old local businessman who has been involved in many local organizations, including Mt. Ashland and the Southern Oregon Historical Society, said he wants to bring a different tenor to the political struggles taking place in Salem.

“We’re just not communicating between the Republicans and Democrats,” he said. “We need people with experience who can come up with solutions.”

Oregonians continue to face an uphill battle with rising health care costs and stagnant wages in the face of increases in the cost of living, he said.

“The news is constantly negative,” he said.

Also, he said, the health care program in Oregon is a “dismal failure,” he said.

If elected, DeBoer said he would go to Salem as an Oregonian without injecting party politics into his approach, striving to work with both Republicans and Democrats to reach agreement on issues. He said his voice in Salem would be a benefit to both parties.

“Democrats would be better off to have me as a Republican,” he said.

DeBoer said he would limit his campaign contributions to $500 and would take contributions only from those in District 5, which encompasses much of southern Jackson County.

As a businessman, DeBoer is known for his involvement in auto dealerships in the valley, including Town and Country Chevrolet in Ashland.

Born on the campus of what is now Southern Oregon University, DeBoer has remained an Ashland resident all his life, raising his family there. He has spent four years as mayor and two years on Ashland City Council.

Over the years, DeBoer has taken on various causes and helped local organizations, including the YMCA, Ashland School Board and helping Ashland Community Hospital in its changeover to Asante.

“I’ve been successful at fixing things,” he said.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter @reporterdm.

Alan DeBoer