PRIMARY ELECTION DEBATES SET County Commissioner, Tues, 4/26 Congressional, Thurs, 4/28

This isn’t going to be the usual primary election in our fair burgh. After more than three decades, Congressman Peter DeFazio announced he’d no longer be representing our presumptively Democratic district in DC, and there are now eight candidates seeking that party’s nomination for the seat. The minute DeFazio announced his retirement, it was easy to imagine how many folks would seek that nomination – and that some of the candidates might truly be different, one from the other, which has turned out be the case.

Closer to home, an intraparty squabble has broken out among Democrats over who should sit on the three-member board that governs our county. Oddly, this race for Benton County Commissioner Position 1 has been more of a surprise than the congressional race, because nobody was anticipating the current commissioner’s race.

Position 1 incumbent Pat Malone is well supported within his party, and challenger Helen Higgins is also well known and supported within Democratic circles. Yet the two candidates have decidedly different views when it comes to the county’s next four years.

In both Democratic primary races facing Benton County residents, there are Republicans running unopposed to challenge whoever wins, so we will be only be presenting debates among the Democrats for the primary. But, come November’s general election, we’ll ask all the parties to the table.

There is also a Corvallis Public Schools Tax Levy on the ballot this cycle, so we will be hosting a brief discussion between School Board Chair Sarah Finger-McDonald and prior school board candidate Richard Arnold during the Commissioner debate.

Tuesday, April 26 at 6:30 p.m.

These debates are scheduled for two evenings:

Benton County Commissioner Candidates Debate, and the Corvallis Public Schools Tax Levy

Thursday, April 28 at 6:30 p.m.

U.S. Congressional Debate, Oregon’s District #4

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