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A Look At Candidates For Lane County Commissioner

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Rachael McDonald
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This is KLCC news, I’m Angela Kellner. Two seats on the Lane County Board of Commissioners are in contention in the May 19th primary. Positions 3 and 4 represent South and North Eugene, respectively. 

Angela Kellner: So, let’s start with position 3, the South Eugene seat on the board. It’s been held by Pete Sorenson, who will finish out his 6th term at the end of the year. He’s not running again so it’s an open seat.

Rachael McDonald: That’s right. There are 4 people vying for the position. First up, Sandra Bishop. She’s a long-time Eugenian, having moved here in 1969 to attend the U of O. She’s served on the Eugene Water and Electric Board for 3 terms. She’s also a retired small business owner and active in several community organizations. Bishop’s main priorities are addressing climate change, health services, disaster preparedness and affordable housing. Then there’s Joel Iboa. He was born and raised in Eugene to immigrant parents and the first in his family to graduate college, the University of Oregon. Iboa works for Causa, an immigrant rights organization. He’s on the Eugene Human rights commission, the Police commission and the Governor’s Environmental Justice Task Force. His priorities are housing and homelessness, community safety, and Environmental Justice.

Matt Moore is the youngest candidate. He grew up in Eugene and recently graduated from University of Pennsylvania with a economics degree. He says homelessness is the most pressing issue for the county. He also cites climate change and the economy as priorities.

Laurie Trieger is another long-time Eugenian. She works for Sponsors, and formerly lead the non-profit Lane Coalition for Healthy and Active Youth. She’s part of the Oregon Health Authority’s Health Improvement Plan Work Group. Trieger says public health, climate change, housing and homelessness and accessibility of government are among her priorities.

AK: What do these candidates say about Lane County’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic?

RM: All of them have praise for Lane County Public Health. Joel Iboa says there’s more the county can do to reach out to Spanish speaking people with information. He also points out that people in the immigrant community are having difficulty accessing unemployment benefits.

AK: The other seat that’s up for re-election is position 4, representing North Eugene.

Yes, there are two people running for that seat. Incumbent Pat Farr is seeking a third term. He’s a former Oregon state representative and Eugene City Councilor. He’s also served as Executive Director of Food For Lane County. Farr’s priorities are housing and homelessness, government transparency, climate change, and public safety. His challenger Andrew Ross is an attorney. He’s been a Justice Court Judge. His priorities are jobs, affordable housing, better public transportation and restorative justice.

AK: And what do these candidates have to say about how the county is coping with the COVID19 pandemic?

Commissioner Farr points to the efforts the county has undertaken to help people who are homeless and provide shelter during this time. He also says he’s working to help shelter youth who are without homes. Ross says county public health needs more resources. He says he’s proud Oregon acted early to flatten the curve.

AK: Thanks Rachael. KLCC’s Rachael McDonald on candidates for Lane County commissioner positions 3 and 4.

The deadline to turn in ballots to official Lane County Election drops sites is Tuesday, May 19th at 8 p.m.

Copyright 2020 KLCC.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s former News Director. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000. After reporting for the Northwest News Network and KAZU, Rachael returned to KLCC in 2007 as Morning Edition host and a general assignment reporter covering politics, the environment, education, and the arts. She was hired as KLCC News Director in 2018. Rachael departed KLCC in June, 2022.
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