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Voter registration deadline looms

Jackson County residents who want to make their voices heard in next month’s primary elections have until April 26 to ensure that their voter registration is correct.

The registration deadline for the mid-term primary election, occurring May 17, will close at the end of the business day Tuesday, April 26, according to a news release issued by the Jackson County Elections Office.

Because Oregon holds closed primary elections, local voters not registered for one of the two major political parties will have much shorter ballots compared to registered Democrats and Republicans.

The most-contested nonpartisan race at the state level will be voters’ pick of Bureau of Labor and Industries Commissioner, according to the Secretary of State’s Office and the county Elections Office. Local nonpartisan voters can vote for incumbent Jackson County Justice of the Peace Damian Idiart in the primary election, who was appointed by the governor in December 2020 and is running unopposed.

Voters can register and update their registration status at oregonvotes.gov. Those who wish to register in person can call the Jackson County Elections office at 541-774-6148, or visit the Jackson County Elections Office, 1101 W. Main St., Suite 201, in Medford.

Partisan voters in the upcoming primary election will help choose this fall’s candidates running for everything from Jackson County commissioner to governor.

The Voter's Pamphlet shows nine Democrat governor candidates, and 14 Republican candidates.

Republicans will pick from six U.S. Senate candidates vying for Democrat Ron Wyden’s seat, while Wyden faces two Democrat challengers, including former Ashland city councilor and planning commissioner Brent Thompson and sign company executive William Barlow III.

Registered Republicans will also have a say in the candidate for Oregon’s District 2 Congressional seat, which includes Jackson and Josephine counties and large portions of Eastern Oregon. Incumbent Cliff Bentz will face Mark Cavener, whose campaign website includes a link with the phrase, “Trump is still our President” and founded an organization called the Election Integrity Education Institute of Oregon.

Retired physician and farmer Joe Yetter of Azalea is the sole Democrat candidate listed for the Congressional seat in House District 2.

Incumbent Jackson County commissioners Rick Dyer and Colleen Roberts will appear on the Republican ballot, and retired epidemiology professor Denise D. Krause of Ashland will appear on Democrat ballots for Dyer’s Position 1 seat.

Former state representative and Medford City Council member Al Densmore previously announced plans to run against Roberts as an Independent party candidate in the Nov. 8 general election.

Other contested races among local Republicans include who’ll run against Democrat State Senator Jeff Golden this fall. Current Medford mayor and retired police chief Randy Sparacino will face artist and retired aerospace engineer Kevin Christman in the May 17 election.

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