By editorial board • 

A tidal wave of ballot filings buoys our faith in democracy

Yamhill County voters won’t lack for candidates on May 15.

The lineup will, of course, vary by party affiliation and geographic location. However, in addition to partisan candidates, every ballot will feature an array of non-partisan contenders, 14 local.

Six area residents are seeking a circuit judgeship being vacated by Ronald Stone. Four are running for a county commission seat held by Stan Primozich and three a county commission seat held by Mary Starrett.

County Sheriff Tim Svenson has drawn no opposition, but he’s in thin company. Locally, he shares the distinction with only two partisan candidates — Scappoose Democrat Betsy Johnson in Senate 16 and McMinnville Republican Ron Noble in House 24.

Contested partisan races include a two-way Democratic primary in Senate 13, two-way Republican primaries in House 23 and House 32, and a three-way Democratic primary in House 32. If that weren’t enough, the Nov. 6 general election promises two-way races in Senate 13, House 10, House 23 and House 25, plus a rare three-way race in House 32, where Brian Halvorsen is running under the Independent Party of Oregon ticket.

The county’s main House district is Noble’s 24, which lacks opposition. Its main Senate district, Brian Boquist’s 12, isn’t up this year.

Thus, legislative action will be limited in the county’s heartland. However, voters on its northern, southern and western flanks will have numerous options.

House 10 runs east to include the West Valley, House 23 north to McMinnville’s southern outskirts, House 25 south to encompass Newberg, House 32 southwest to capture a pocket around Gaston. House 25 makes up half Kim Thatcher’s Senate 13 and House 32 half of Johnson’s Senate 16, while House 23 and 24 combine to make up Boquist’s Senate 12.

Oregon doesn’t have any U.S. Senate races this year, but has five contested U.S. House races on tap.

Yamhill County falls into Democrat Suzanne Bonamici’s 1st District, occupying the state’s northwest corner. She’s drawn opposition from three Republicans and two Democrats, ensuring contested elections in both May and November.

On the state level, the November highlight will probably be a contested gubernatorial race. The post of labor commissioner and seats on the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court pale by comparison.

By all appearances, the governor’s race will feature Democratic incumbent Kate Brown seeking to fend off a challenge from state Rep. Knute Buehler of Bend. But May primary ballots will feature 10 Republicans, three Democrats and four third party affiliates, a count of 17 in all.

We take great heart in that. It represents democracy in action.

Comments

Rotwang

This isn't a democracy. It's a republic.

sbagwell

A republic is a form of representative democracy. Our government operates on the principles of democracy. There is no meaningful distinction in the terminology.

Don Dix

Steve -- you might want to re-assess that claim (no meaningful distinction).

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