By Don Iler • News Editor • 

Jones withdraws from district 23 race

Her husband has been away on distant training sessions and deployments since joining the Oregon National Guard in 2009, she said, but has been reassigned to Salem. She said she is looking forward to the opportunity to spend more time with him, and legislative campaigning and service would prevent that.

“I’m so honored that so many people in our district have come to see me as someone who could bring unity to our district,” she said. But she said, “We want to do life together and see what that looks like again.”

Jones also said she intends to give up her Dallas City Council seat rather than seek re-election in November.

The campaign in District 23 has been exceptionally ugly and expensive so far this year.

Backed by more than $90,000 from the Oregon Family Council and Oregon Right to Life, Tea Party conservative Mike Nearman ousted incumbent Jim Thompson for the Republican nomination. With Democratic nominee Wanda Davis given little chance in the Republican-leaning district, recruitment of a moderate Republican to run on the Independent Party ticket was seen as a way to make the general election more competitive.

During the Independent Party primary, the Oregon Family Council and Oregon Right to Life reportedly called on Independent Party members to oppose Jones, terming her a “spoiler.” But Jones said she made her decision on family grounds, not on the fallout she was facing.

Sal Peralta, Independent Party secretary, said party officials will have a caucus to consider the filling of vacancies like the one left by Jones’ withdrawal. He said Nearman did not seek the party’s nomination, but Pacific Green candidate Alex Pollikoff did, receiving six votes.

The Independent Party of Oregon, the largest minor party in the state with about 100,000 members, conducts its party primary online in July.

Because of Oregon’s fusion voting law, candidates can accept nominations from multiple parties. So the party is able to nominate Republicans, Democrats and members of other minor parties in addition to candidates from its own ranks.

District 23 includes Amity, Dayton, Willamina and McMinnville’s rural outskirts, then heads south to cover Polk County and rural parts of Benton County.  

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