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And then there were three, running for Clackamas County commissioner

With this Friday’s announcement, there will be a primary in May for at least a three-way race between incumbent Clackamas County Commissioner Jim Bernard, Milwaukie Mayor Jeremy Ferguson — and now Steve Bates, a longtime resident of Boring.

by: SUBMITTED  - Steve BatesThe top two finishers of the May 20 primary will proceed to the Nov. 4, 2014, election, unless one candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote.

In 1977, Bates and his wife, Betty, chose the county to make their home and raise their two children because of its rural openness and small-town atmosphere. He started small business selling fire equipment in the western states.

In the last few years, Bates became involved in county politics in response to growing concerns over top-down land-use policies that he believed hindered his community’s opportunities to grow and thrive. He said that his years of involvement, in particular his stint as chairman of the Boring Community Planning Organization, inspired his decision to enter the race.

“Opportunities are disappearing, not just because of the recession, but because of decisions made at the regional and county level,” he said. “I stand for so many other people in the county who want to grow our businesses, provide jobs for our kids, and protect the rural and suburban lifestyle we love in this county. I look forward to working with other county commissioners who have dedicated themselves to this fight.”

This year, Bates was selected Boring Area Citizen of the Year. He founded and is a current member of the Boring Oregon Business Coalition. He is a founding director of the Boring Oregon Foundation, which raises funds for a local community center. And since 2011, he has headed the Boring Community Planning Organization.