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Kevin Talbert joins Senate race

Kevin Talbert announced Wednesday he will compete for the state Senate seat held by the late Alan Bates.

Talbert served as chief information officer for Southern Oregon University and is now retired after 26 years at the school. 

He is a member of the Rogue Community College board, a member of the Executive Committee for Southern Oregon Land Conservancy and vice chair of The Rogue Initiative for a Vital Economy. He served on the Workforce Council and two terms as president of Oregon Community College Association.

Talbert graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor's in political science, from University of Wisconsin - La Crosse with a Master of Science in college student personnel and from University of Northern Colorado and a Ph.D. in higher education administration. He also received a certificate in management of lifelong education from Harvard University.

Talbert said his areas of focus are education, environment and local business.

"My environmental interests focus on sustainability," Talbert said in a press release. "I understand the urgency of climate change and am an advocate for clean energy."

"Like Senator Bates, I recognize that business (and especially small and local businesses) need our support," he added. "I am supportive of the efforts of organized labor to bring fairness and equity to the workplace."

As to why he put his name in the hat, Talbert said, "It's the notion of making a contribution or difference in our community. I think I might be the strongest candidate ... to represent District 3."

Talbert is one of seven people vying to replace Bates.

Kevin Talbert