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Ludlow responds to letters backlash

County chairman says he endorses on merits of candidates

At the first evening business meeting last Thursday following his endorsement of challengers Karen Bowerman and Steve Bates for the upcoming election, Clackamas County Board Chairman John Ludlow argued that he’s not an antagonist, but rather, a protagonist.

Ludlow doesn’t believe endorsements should be reserved solely for existing commissioners.

“It should not be any kind of a rule out there that if you endorse, you can only endorse a sitting commissioner,” Ludlow said. “You should be free to endorse who you want, give the reasons for that and go on with life.”

After he sent an open letter April 5 criticizing incumbent county commissioners Paul Savas and Jim Bernard, many citizens had been outraged. Oregon City resident Jo Haverkamp was among the citizens who testified at last week’s county board meeting.

“I’m 74, and I’ve always been involved in politics. I’ve never seen this done. Where a seated commissioner cuts down his own commission? I think it’s ridiculous,” Haverkamp said, repeating a quote from Jane Lokan in an April 9 Pamplin Media Group article: “When people cut down active folks in their own party, it’s generally an ugly thing.”

Ludlow also vehemently denies his actions as out of line, and he is fed up with the way his detractors portray him.

“I’m really getting tired of somehow being unethical, of somehow losing my temper, which is hogwash,” he said.

Ludlow displayed his philosophical side, quoting Socrates to describe those who have called him names.

“When the debate is lost, slander is the tool of the loser,” he said.


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