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Two county commissioners get election challengers

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Democrat will run against Dyer; Roberts faces Independent candidate

A retired epidemiology professor has filed as a Democrat challenger to one Jackson County commissioner, while a former state representative will run against another.

Commissioners Colleen Roberts (Position 3) and Rick Dyer (Position 1) have both filed for re-election, according to the Jackson County Elections Office.

The application deadline for candidates running in the May 17 primaries under Democrat and Republican party affiliations was 5 p.m. Tuesday, according to Jackson County Clerk Chris Walker.

Denise D. Krause of Ashland applied Tuesday to run for Position 1, according to filings on the Jackson County Elections Office website, meaning that she’ll vie for the position occupied by Dyer.

Although no Democrats filed for the primary for Position 3, former state representative and Medford City Council member Al Densmore has announced plans to run against Roberts as an Independent Party candidate in the general election.

Roberts and Dyer have no primary opposition, although Walker said that the primary ballots will allow for write-in candidates in both parties.

Krause’s application lists no prior government experience, but she has an extensive occupational and educational background, including a master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in epidemiology and preventative medicine.

She is a retired professor at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where she taught epidemiology and biomedical informatics, her application states. She currently works part-time as president of Health Data Analytics.

Her educational background also includes Russian and Soviet studies at the University of Kansas, where she earned her bachelor’s degree, and the Monterey Institute of International Studies, where she earned master’s degrees in Russian and international policy.

When reached via Facebook Messenger Wednesday, Densmore said he applied for the nomination with the Independent Party of Oregon, confirming a Wednesday report by blogger and former county commissioner Peter Sage.

Densmore, who is listed as the Southern Oregon regional contact on the Independent Party of Oregon website, said he knows of no other applicants seeking endorsement from the Independent Party for Jackson County commissioner.

Minor party candidates have between June 1 and Aug. 30 to apply to appear on the ballot for the Nov. 8 general election, according to the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office.

Several Jackson County nonpartisan incumbents have also filed for re-election, records show.

Walker will seek her fifth four-year term as Jackson County clerk, Sheriff Nathan Sickler will seek his second elected term, and Jackson County Justice of the Peace Damian Idiart will seek his first election after Gov. Kate Brown appointed him to the position in December 2020.

Reach web editor Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTwebeditor.