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Senate District 3 candidates: leadership styles and top priorities

Here are the responses of state Senate District 3 candidates to a Mail Tribune questionnaire about their leadership styles and top priorities if elected. Republican Curt Ankerberg refused to fill out the questionnaire. The winner in the general election will succeed Sen. Alan DeBoer, who decided not to seek re-election.

Ballots for the May 15 primary will be mailed today and must be returned by 8 p.m. Election Day.


Julian W. Bell

Age: 47

Residence: Ashland

Occupation: Medical doctor

Education: Bachelor’s at Cornell University, 1994, Doctor of Medicine, New York Medical College, 2000

Political experience: None as an elected official

How would you describe your leadership style?

Team oriented, goal driven. I aim to identify a problem, assemble the resources and develop a plan to fix it, then follow the plan.

What are your top two priorities if elected?

I propose a state bank — or a public/private infrastructure development bank which will make it easier and more financially sound to invest in profitable state infrastructure. This infrastructure would include affordable housing and clean energy generation and storage capacity. North Dakota has exactly this kind of bank.

Single-payer health care. It’s the right thing to do — it’s also the only way to resolve the upcoming financial crisis created by Measure 101. A single-payer health insurance system would decrease health care costs for all of us. It’s the way it works everywhere other than the U.S.

Athena Goldberg

Age: 48

Residence: Medford

Occupation: Behavioral Health director for AllCare Health; therapist

Education: Master of Social Work, Arizona State University; Bachelor of Arts at Southern Oregon University

Political experience: Oregon Quality and Health Outcomes Committee, Behavioral Health chair

How would you describe your leadership style?

Collaborative; end-goal orientated.

What are your top two priorities if elected?

Health care: Thanks to the great work of Dr. Alan Bates, Oregon has greatly expanded access to health care. If elected, I will focus on sustaining the gains we have already made, such as getting insurance for 100 percent of Oregon’s children, and helping expand access to affordable, preventive health care for all Oregonians.

Affordable housing: Southern Oregon is in a housing crisis. We must build more affordable housing for a diversity of incomes. If elected, I will work to ensure that our young families and seniors have access to resources that will make it easier to find affordable housing.

Jeff Golden

Age: 68

Residence: Ashland

Occupation: TV Producer, journalist and mediator

Education: Harvard University, two years; Master of Arts in Broadcast Communications, Stanford University; American Leadership Forum

Political experience: Jackson County commissioner; Rogue Valley Council of Governments board; chair, Jackson-Josephine Job Council; chief-of-staff to Oregon Senate president; water policy aide to Portland City Commission

How would you describe your leadership style?

I research to understand policy complexities, explore alliances with “the other side,” cultivate broad participation/buy-in to push firmly and cleanly for what I think’s right.

If elected, what would be your top two priorities?

Effective action on climate catastrophe: passing the Clean Energy Jobs bill both to make polluters pay for their damage and jumpstart a robust modern economy; killing the fracked-gas pipeline proposal and all proposals to expand Oregon’s fossil fuel infrastructure; insisting that growth planning reduces our addiction to single-car transportation.

Unrigging the economy with pre-k-14 education that’s a portal to family-wage jobs; universal access to decent housing and quality, cost-effective health care; tax reform that’s tougher on remote corporations that don’t care about Oregon and easier on small local businesses that do; defending worker rights to organize and bargain.

Kevin Stine

Age: 32

Residence: Medford

Occupation: Medford city councilor; currently without a full-time job

Education: Bachelor of Science in Political Science, Southern Oregon University, with a minor in Communications

Political experience: Medford City Council, 2015 to present; chairman of Medford Urban Renewal Agency board, 2017; Democratic Party Precinct Committee person, 2014 to present; delegate to Democratic National Convention for Bernie Sanders, 2016

How would you describe your leadership style?

In the military, I learned what works. I challenge others’ opinions and reasoning, and expect the same in return. However, I don’t take disagreement personal.

What are your top two priorities if elected?

Housing: There is a severe housing shortage across Oregon. This shortage is resulting in low vacancy rates and continually rising rent increases. This is especially a heavy issue in the Rogue Valley, and I would like to be involved in modernizing our current land-use laws to mitigate the problem.

Education: High school graduation rates in Oregon are among the worst in the America, and we must look at structural issues in our education system. I fully support Gov. Brown’s Future Ready Oregon plan along with Medford’s CTE bond to assist students in getting the right education for today’s jobs.


Jessica Gomez

Age: 40

Residence: Medford

Occupation: CEO, Rogue Valley Microdevices Inc.

Education: Associate’s degree

Political experience: Legislative aide to Sen. Alan DeBoer

How would you describe your leadership style?

Leadership is about inspiring others to do their best work. I am a strong and collaborative leader who believes in the power of diverse ideas and opinions.

What are your top two priorities if elected?

Build a strong economy: Encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship will promote economic vitality and diversity across Southern Oregon. I know what it takes to build a small business that creates family-wage jobs in our community. I would make job creation and economic growth a priority.

Use our tax dollars wisely: Despite record tax revenue, Oregon is still struggling to balance its budget. PERS and Medicaid continue to demand more of our tax dollars. As state senator, I would look for ways to streamline state government and efficiently allocate resources to better support our community.

Democratic candidates for state Senate District 3, clockwise from top left: Jeff Golden, Kevin Stine, Athena Goldberg, Julian Bell.
Jessica Gomez, Republican