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10 in the running for Bates' seat

Jackson County Democratic Party Chairman David Roadman confirmed today that 10 candidates are in the running for either an interim or permanent seat to fill the Senate vacancy created by Alan Bates' unexpected death Aug. 5.

In a convention set for Friday, Democrats will choose a nominee to run in the November election, as well as three to five candidates to pass on to the Jackson County commissioners, who will choose a replacement to serve as interim until Jan. 1.

"This only happens when we have a vacancy in an office; ordinarily it would come due to a resignation," Roadman says. "The unique thing about this is we're right in the middle of campaign season, so there’s short turnaround time, ... [and] in a period when we’re still grieving the loss of Bates, creates an uncomfortable situation, but it’s … something we have to do."

Two of the 10 candidates, Bernard Spera and Mark Soderstrom, are offering only to serve in the interim, according to Roadman. The eight others will be considered for the Democratic nomination in the general election Nov. 8.

The eight are Kevin Stine, Medford city councilman; Mike Moran, retired police officer of Medford; Kevin Talbert, retired public information officer with Southern Oregon University; Stacy Bannerman, former Peace House executive director; Laz Ayala, Medford businessman; Tonia Moro, a Medford lawyer; Richard Schaefer, a retired Asante physician; and Joyce Segers, who's run twice against U.S. Rep. Greg Walden. 

Of those eight, only Kevin Stine has completed the necessary paperwork with the Oregon Secretary of State's Office, according to the office's website. Deadline for filing is Aug. 30.

If Moran, who is currently running against Rep. Sal Esquivel, is chosen as the nominee for the Senate seat, the Democrats will have to choose a replacement for the House race.

The Democrats will hold their convention at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19, in the Medford library, 205 S. Central Ave., Medford. The Republicans' convention to choose their nominee for the Senate seat will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23, at Inn at the Commons. So far no Republican candidates have announced, though Dave Dotterrer, who ran against Bates twice, said he's considering entering the race.