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Fifth candidate joins race for county commissioner


County government — Dundee City Council member files for Position 1, will face Sal Peralta and Stan Primozich in the May primary

A third candidate has filed for Yamhill County Commissioner, Position 1.

On Nov. 14, Dundee City Councilor David Russ joined the race and will face Sal Peralta and Stan Primozich in the May primary. Debra Bridges and Mary Starrett are running for Position 3 and the deadline for filing is March, so other candidates may surface.

Position 1 is held by Kathy George and Position 3 by Mary Stern. Both will reach their three-term limit in 2014.

“It seemed to me there was kind of a void coming up with two open seats,” he said.Russ

Russ grew up in Southern California, watching his father serve on the Gardena City Council and later as mayor.

“He’s still honorary mayor today,” Russ said.

He said he has spent the past 20 years talking about how he wants to serve publicly, but didn’t act on that desire until moving to Dundee two and a half years ago.

“I didn’t feel the love for (Gardena) as I did when I came here,” he said. “I felt (running for commissioner) was an opportunity to start making a difference in Yamhill County.”

Russ has a background in business, although he graduated with a degree in television production from Eastern Washington University — something he said he got out of fairly quickly.

“In Hollywood they want you to say ‘yes’ before you know what they want,” he said. “I’m the kind of person who wants to know what the deliverables are (first) and deliver when I say I can.”

Since leaving the television industry, he worked in real estate, clothing manufacturing, as CEO of a steel metal fabricator and has recently returned to real estate.

“I love driving around the town talking with people,” he said.

His appointment to the Dundee City Council in February was his first government position, but he said his past experience with company executives meant he has spent considerable time interacting with city government.

For now, Russ said there is only one big issue for him — controlled county growth.

“It’s not necessary to put a total cap on it, but make sure it happens in a way that ensures longevity and the beauty of the county,” he said. “(Growth) can’t be stopped but it can be guided and used.”