May primary features a full slate of Crook County candidates
A record nine candidates are running for one county commissioner positionWith the filing deadline of mid-March now past, Crook County residents will have a packed list of candidates and measures to choose from this May.
Incumbent Crook County Commissioner Mike McCabe, who is a Republican, has filed for the position of Crook County judge, as have Democrat Kim Kambak and Republican Walt Wagner of Powell Butte.
The largest list of candidates by far - nine total - is for one open seat on the county court in position No. 1, which is currently being held by McCabe. Newell Clarno, Arleen Curths, Dick Brown, Seth Crawford, Russ Hanson, Ken Fahlgren, John Mitchell, Frank Nicholson and Russ Wright have all announced their candidacies for the position.
"It is a record," said Crook County Clerk Dee Berman, who has been clerk 14 years. "I've looked back over 30 years and I didn't find anything."
She said five candidates filed for county judge in 1992 and five people filed for county commissioner in 1994, but by far, this is the most.
Clarno, a Democrat, is a real estate agent and owner of Country Boys Real Estate. Brown, a fellow Democrat, previously worked as the county and city planning director, and now works for Far West Real Estate. Curths is also a Democrat, is retired and had previously worked in manufacturing management. She has also served on the Crook County Planning Commission. Republican Crawford is a real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Sun Country Realty. Hanson, a fellow Republican, is the current director of the Crook County Environmental Health Department. Fahlgren, a registered Republican, is the former owner of Prineville Motor Supply Inc. Wright is also a Republican and is currently doing contractual work for the Crook County Sheriff's Office. He has worked in law enforcement for several decades. Mitchell, a Republican, is retired and had worked in public works and engineering. Nicholson, another Republican, currently works in the Crook County building maintenance department.
Incumbent Crook County Surveyor Dave Armstrong is president of Armstrong Surveying and Engineering Inc. and remains unchallenged for his position. Likewise, the same is true for incumbent Crook County Treasurer Kathy Gray, who is running for another term.
Crook County Deputy District Attorney Daina Vitolins is running for Crook County district attorney. She is being challenged in the race by attorney Steven Chappell.
Crook County District Attorney Gary Williams filed his papers to run for Crook County Circuit Court judge, after current Judge Gary Thompson announced that he will not seek another term.
The sole measure facing Crook County voters is Measure 07-47.
According to the election summary, the measure would remove the destination resort eligibility overlay map from Crook County's comprehensive plan, and if passed, no more resorts could be approved in the county. Three resorts have already been approved in the county and they would not be affected by removing the overlay map, according to information provided by the county clerk's office.
Editor's note: The Central Oregonian will publish a story on Steve Chappell's candidacy for Crook County district attorney next week.