By Nathalie Hardy • Columnist • 

Primozich aims to serve as conduit

County commissioner candidate Stan Primozich said he plans to add some new “C’s” to office, if elected — communication, collaboration and cooperation. “I want to serve people as a conduit to connect citizens to county government,” he said.

A local investment adviser and longtime McMinnville School Board member, Primozich was the first candidate to announce for one of two commissioner seats open this year. But several of his opponents filed before him in the five-way race. 

That’s because instead of paying the traditional $50 filing fee to get on the ballot, Primozich and his opponent Sal Peralta set out to personally collect enough signatures to file by petition. The method hasn’tbeen done in a county commissioner race for at least 30 years, as far as officials can tell. 

The campaign trail isn’t new for him. In addition to several school board runs, all but one of them successful, he mounted an unsuccessful bid for mayor of McMinnville in 2008.

The first showdown in the non-partisan race is the May 20 primary. If no one wins a majority at that time, the two top vote-getters for each seat will square off in the November general election.

Primozich said no single issue drove him to seek a full-time post on the county’s three-member board of commissioners. He simply thinks his wide civic and business experience in McMinnville makes it a good fit for him and vice versa, he said.

However, he said he has some priorities in mind as he talks with constituents along the campaign trail. He listed economic development, transportation and public safety.

“None of those are more important than the other,” Primozich said. “They all work hand in hand. We need to have our priorities and work diligently on all of them.

“The bottom line is, all of these things contribute to what is needed to have a better way of life in Yamhill County, where we enjoy a lifestyle that is envied by a lot of people. We need to continue that and we need to build on that.” 

In addition to serving 22 years on the school board, Primozich has served with the Oregon School Board Association and Court Appointed Special Advocates program. He said his lengthy experience with civic and government work has given him a good sense of how to bring people together.

He has maintained his financial adviser practice for 30 years, and plans to continue that in some form, regardless of the election’s outcome.

“County government needs to be a facilitator in economic development,” Primozich said.

“People in this county are reeling from taxes as it is,” he said. “We need to increase the amount of people who are paying taxes to spread the burden more evenly, and to do that we need to tap into incentives for entrepreneurs and people out there wanting to build our workforce.”

He said working with high schools and community colleges is an essential component of economic vitality as well, and he has a lot of experience there. 

“Transportation throughout the county is a critical issue, and we need to stay on top of things like the Newberg-Dundee Bypass project,” Primozich said. “We need to do everything we can to make sure it gets done right the first time.

“Public safety is also critical. Protecting our citizens is in the Constitution. We need to get our government doing what government is supposed to do and the citizens doing what the citizens are supposed to do.”

After graduating from high school in Idaho, Primozich attended Eastern Washington University. He then spent four years in the Navy, serving in Vietnam. 

He is a committed resident of McMinnville, where he lives with his wife, Janice.  

“I’m rooted here,” he said. “With seven children and 13 grandchildren, this community is very important to me. I’ve lived here 30 years and I’ll be buried here.”

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