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DeBoer only Republican in Senate race

Jackson County Republicans are still waiting to see whether anyone will challenge former Ashland Mayor Alan DeBoer in Tuesday's competition for the state Senate District 3 seat formerly held by Alan Bates.

Ken Fawcett, chairman of the Jackson County Republican Party, said there also have been no candidates so far for House District 5, which covers Ashland, Talent, Phoenix and rural areas of the south county. He said he hasn't heard of any other candidates interested in the two open seats.

The Senate seat is on the November ballot after Bates, a Democrat, died unexpectedly Aug. 5 while on a fishing trip. DeBoer was slated to run for the House seat but has announced he will seek the Senate position instead. If he is the chosen nominee, Republicans would be faced with a vacancy to fill on the ballot for the House race.

Meanwhile, DeBoer is the only name that has come forward for either position as of Monday afternoon. But Fawcett said he suspects DeBoer will have company.

"Anything is possible," he said. "I don't see that (DeBoer running unopposed) as happening."

At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, up to 83 Republican precinct committee representatives will meet at the Inn at the Commons in Medford to fill the GOP side of the November ballot for the two races.

Fawcett said there would be brief introductions by the candidates, followed by questions from the precinct committee persons.

After the rules are spelled out, the precinct representatives will vote. If a candidate gets a simple majority of votes, the candidate becomes the nominee.

Democrats have selected Medford lawyer Tonia Moro, a Talent resident, as their candidate for the Senate seat in the November election. She was selected Friday from among 13 candidates.

DeBoer, owner of TC Chevrolet in Ashland and Airport Chevrolet in Medford, is a lifelong Ashland resident who served as the city's mayor from 2001 to 2004 after serving two years on the City Council and eight years on the Ashland School Board. He has served on numerous community organization boards, ranging from Little League and the Mt. Ashland Ski Association to the Ashland chamber and the Rogue Valley Area Commission on Transportation.

"There's a lot going for him," Fawcett said.

DeBoer couldn't be reached for comment Monday.

If DeBoer is selected for the Senate slot and a candidate comes forward for House District 5, Fawcett said, precinct committee persons would conduct a similar procedure before voting for that person.

Dave Dotterrer, who ran twice against Bates, said he has other professional commitments that make it difficult for him to run again.

"I've made two attempts," he said. "It's time for somebody else to step forward."

Dotterrer said he hasn't heard of any Republican candidates aside from DeBoer who want to make a run for the Senate seat.

"He's going to be a great candidate," Dotterrer said. "I can't tell you how enthusiastic I am for Alan."

Dotterrer said he was appointed to the Ashland Planning Commission about the time DeBoer became mayor in 2001.

Senate District 3 has slightly more Democrats than Republicans, but the seat has been more competitive than the House District 5 seat, which has been dominated by Ashland Democrats in recent decades, most recently Peter Buckley, who isn't running for re-election.

In 2010, Bates defeated Dotterrer by only 282 votes to keep the Senate seat. In 2014, the margin was considerably more, with Bates winning by nearly 4,000 votes.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@mailtribune.com. Follow him on www.twitter.com/reporterdm.