Eight people are vying for governor and U.S. senator, five more seek the second congressional district seat

This coming May, Crook County voters can expect a full ballot with many races featuring as many six candidates.

The county slate will feature nearly 60 candidates, although most of them are running for precinct committeeperson. The county commissioner race will pit incumbent Seth Crawford against current Prineville City Councilor Jack Seley for the Republican Party nomination. Meanwhile, just one candidate, Brian Huber, has filed for county assessor.

“It surprises me that there weren’t more candidates for commissioner,” said Crook County Clerk Dee Berman, “because I have had several calls. A lot of people were talking about people filing for commissioner.”

The precinct committeeperson slate was a different story. Forty-five Republicans filed to serve 16 of the available 17 precincts.

“In my 20 years, that has never happened,” Berman said. “The Republicans did a terrific job of canvassing for candidates for the precinct committeepersons.”

She went on to note that nine Democrats filed for eight precincts, an amount more typical of both parties in elections past.

At the federal level, the terms of Rep. Greg Walden and Sen. Jeff Merkley expire at the end of this year. As of the March 11 filing deadline, six Republicans have filed for the Senate seat, and two others will challenge Merkley in the Democratic Primary.

Republican senator candidates include Jason Conger, who currently serves in the Oregon Legislature, Monica Wehby, Timothy Crawley, Mark Callahan, and Jo Rae Perkins. The Democratic slate features Merkley as well as William Bryk and Pavel Goberman.

In the race for Second Congressional District, Walden will be challenged by Republican Dennis B. Lithicum. Meanwhile, Barney Spera, Aelea Chistofferson, and C.F. (Frank) Vulliet will compete for the Democratic Party nomination.

The slate for governor is equally loaded with eight total candidates hoping to win the position. In the Democratic race, incumbent John Kitzhaber will seek a fourth overall term. He will be challenged by Ifeanyichukwu C. Diru.

Republicans, on the other hand, will choose from six contenders, including Oregon legislator Dennis Richardson, Bruce A. Cuff, Tim Carr, Gordon Challstrom, Mae Rafferty, and Darren Carr.

The other state office decided by local voters will be House District 55 representative. Republican Mike McLane is running unopposed for his party's nomination, while Prineville resident Dick Phay is running unopposed on the Democratic ticket.

In addition to the candidate slate, the Crook County ballot will feature a measure in which voters will determine whether the county court positions change to nonpartisan. If approved, the change will take affect after the upcoming primary election.

The 2014 Primary election will take place on May 20.

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