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Walden for Congress, Fein for surveyor

This newspaper has repeatedly endorsed Greg Walden for U.S. Congress, not because we always agree with him politically, but because he has generally done a good job representing the overwhelmingly rural, Republican 2nd District. Also, because Walden has one of the safest seats in the House, he rarely has faced a strong challenger.

Walden's influence in the House has also increased aloing with his seniority, which has the potential to benefit his district. However, it also puts him in league with a House leadership that has chosen partisan obstruction over the good of the nation.

Not to put too fine a point on it, the House Republican leadership, of which Walden is a part, has been a disgrace, especially in the past two years.

Pushing the federal government to the brink of default and refusing to compromise on the budget and taxes is a failure of leadership, and Walden must bear some responsibility for that.

This year, he faces Ashland Democrat Joyce Segers for the second straight election. Segers is well-intentioned and sincere, but woefully unprepared to be a member of Congress. She has lived in Oregon only since 2009, moving here from Florida, and has never held an elective office.

In 2010, when we recommended voters give Walden a seventh term, we noted that he was critical of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's heavy-handed tactics, and predicted things would change if Republicans recaptured the majority. They did, and we have seen how that worked out.

If the Democrats would field a stronger challenger, we would be inclined to recommend a change in the 2nd District. But under the circumstances, and without enthusiasm, we recommend Greg Walden for another term.

The job of county surveyor is not exciting or high-profile. But it is important. The surveyor and staff are responsible for recording surveys performed by private surveyors, resolving property-line disputes and working to restore the 20,000 "corners" — precise reference points that determine the location of all property lines in the county.

Incumbent Surveyor Kerry Bradshaw won re-election in May, but he was killed in a car wreck in July, leaving the post vacant. Scott Fein, the deputy surveyor, took over his duties and by all accounts has performed well. He has worked in the office since 2006 and is endorsed by former surveyor Roger Roberts, who hired him.

His opponents on the Nov. 6 ballot are longtime surveyors nearing the ends of their careers. Herb Farber and Martin Stewart are seasoned professionals and clearly well-qualified. But Fein is qualified, too. He doesn't have their decades of experience, but brings a youthful enthusiasm and energy that will serve the county well. We recommend Scott Fein for county surveyor.