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County commissioner: Dyer, Ockunzzi

Two open seats on the Jackson County Board of Commissioners attracted less interest than the last time around, with no Democrat filing for one seat and a lone write-in candidate seeking the Democratic nomination in the other race. Two Republicans are competing for each seat.

For Position 1, being vacated by Don Skundrick, the winner of the primary between Republican hopefuls Rick Dyer, a business owner, and Henry Marlowe Jr., a retired electrician, will face attorney Tonia Moro, a Democrat who announced a write-in campaign this week.

Dyer owns an energy contracting company and is licensed to practice law in California. He is serving his second term on the Rogue Valley Transportation District board of directors.

Dyer has a generally good grasp of the complexities of county government and pledges a deliberate approach to problems, saying he isn't driven by an agenda. He supports what he calls "common-sense" timber harvests on federal lands to help Jackson and surrounding counties, and opposes raising taxes to pay for county services.

Marlowe studied electrical engineering and owned a tool company in Los Angeles before working as an electrician and teaching high school in Santa Clara County. He appears less than prepared to tackle the day-to-day details of running a county government, preferring to discuss fusion power and desalination. He's not running much of a campaign, and didn't file any information for the county voters' pamphlet. We recommend Republican voters choose Dyer.

In the race for Position 3, Joel Ockunzzi, a businessman and seven-year member of the county Planning Commission, is making his second run for commissioner after losing to Doug Breidenthal in the primary in 2012. He's endorsed by outgoing Commissioner John Rachor. He faces Colleen Roberts, who has previously run for county clerk and commissioner.

Ockunzzi is well-spoken and has a background in community involvement. He is a strong advocate of private property rights and emphasizes fiscal responsibility, but he also appears to recognize the need for some investment in the community. He supports the ballot measure to fund the Extension Service and says he probably will vote for the library measure as well.

Roberts, who owns Sensational Sweets in Eagle Point, expresses concern about what she calls a "takeover" of local government without providing much evidence, and opposes any tax increases, including the proposed library district and the Extension district.

We recommend Republican voters choose Ockunzzi.