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City Club of Eugene: Republican Candidates for House Districts 12 and 14

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Brian Bull
Candidates share their thoughts during the May 6, 2022 City Club of Eugene forum.

Program date: May 6, 2022

Air date: May 9, 2022

From the City Club of Eugene:

Most legislative races in the Willamette Valley are uncontested in this year’s primary election, but there are two notable exceptions.

The newly redrawn House District 12 includes parts of Eugene, Springfield, and Pleasant Hill and the towns of Junction City, Coburg, Creswell, Westfir, Lowell, Cottage Grove, Dexter, Oakridge, and Marcola. Four Republicans are vying to run against Democrat Michelle Emmons.

House District 14 includes west Eugene and stretches west to Veneta and Elmira and north to portions of Junction City. Two Republicans are seeking the nomination to run against incumbent Democrat Julie Fahey, and one accepted the invitation to this forum.

Although this primary forum deals with only the Republican candidates seeking the nomination, we will feature both Republican and Democratic candidates for legislative races in the Fall, prior to the general election.

The forum, hosted by KLCC News Director Rachael McDonald, covers local and state issues that these candidates will face if elected in November.


Charlie Conrad is the operations supervisor at the Lane Events Center. He has been a public employee for 23 years, previously working as a corrections officer for the Lane County Sheriff’s Department and for the Springfield Police Department and the League of Oregon Cities. He has volunteered on several public advisory committees, including the Lane County Planning Commission and the community action advisory committee. He earned a BS in Wildlife Science at Oregon State University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Colorado.

Nicole De Graff has held leadership roles in a non-profit and political action committee and volunteered as a director on the board of the Willamette Leadership Academy and as chair of the Lane County Republican PCP’s (Precinct Committee Persons). She has been employed in a variety of roles in real estate, event planning, and healthcare, and has owned her own business. Her formal education and credentials include earning a certificate in small business management from Tafe NSW Australia, studying to be a paralegal, and taking undergraduate courses at U of O and Willamette University.

Jeff Gowing has served five years as mayor of Cottage Grove and seven years on its City Council. After six years in the US Army artillery and armor division, he began his career in the timber industry at Weyerhaeuser Company in Cottage Grove, where he is now a millwright. Over the years, he has worked in several departments at the mill, including acting as leader in the First Responder program and as a member of the union. He is a graduate of Cottage Grove High School and took courses at Lane Community College as part of his apprenticeship to become a journeyman millwright.

Bill R. Ledford retired from a 35-year career in pharmaceutical sales. He is a precinct committee person for the Republican Party.

Caleb Clark is the owner of FTR Craftsmen, a company that does renovations and remodels throughout Lane County. He joined the Bethel School Board in 2021, and shared the work of adapting to Covid challenges and developing the Bethel Online Academy. He attended Churchill HS.

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