Here's who we endorsed in the primary election races

The ballots for the May primary election reached Oregon voters last week and are due May 20, so we thought we’d remind our readers of the endorsements our community editorial board undertook over the course of three weeks in April.

The board chose to concentrate on four races that are important to residents in our primary area of coverage: Newberg and Dundee. Those races include the Republican primary contest between Bill Post and Barbara Jensen for House District 25; the three-way race between Tim Casey, Joe Shipley and Tim Svenson for Yamhill County sheriff; and the contests for Position 1 and Position 3 on the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners, which has too many candidates to list.May 14 editorial

In the House District 25 race the editorial board found little difference between Post and Jensen, but gave the nod to Jensen nonetheless because of her deep knowledge of state government, including a stint as chief procurement officer. Board members tended to believe Jensen’s experience in Salem would prove important in the Legislature’s oversight of state boards and commissions. Ultimately, we believe she knows how government is supposed to work and will ask the right questions.

Producing an endorsement for sheriff proved much more difficult for the board because the field features three strong candidates, any one of whom would probably do an excellent job as sheriff if given the opportunity.

Svenson, however, distanced himself from the other two due to his past management experience, his knowledge of the office, his understanding of the new challenges law enforcement agencies face from tech crimes such as identity theft and online child pornography, and his better developed administrative skills.

This newspaper’s experience with Svenson in his role as captain in the office has been one of a good communicator who believes in keeping the public, and its messenger the media, apprised of information, something that has become increasingly rare in public safety circles these days.

The contest between Debra Bridges, Mary Starrett and Mark Shelton for Position 3 on the Board of Commissioners was an easy call for the editorial board: Bridges was by far the choice of the board.

The board believes Bridges is capable of taking up where departing Commissioner Mary Stern leaves off. She has a deep breadth of knowledge about county government and has well-developed relationships with leaders in county departments and agencies she has forged through her position as director of crime victims services at the Yamhill County district attorney’s office.

The board’s deliberations on the Position 1 contest was made more difficult due to the fact that there are five candidates, yet two favorites quickly emerged: Stan Primozich and Sal Peralta. Both men have backgrounds steeped in civic engagement, but Peralta got the nod of the board due to his energy, his knowledge of and connection to people in county government, and his good communication skills.

Ultimately, you the voters will decide if a particular candidate in each of these races deserves to win outright in the primary election or, as is the case in the sheriff and commissioner races, the two candidates who will advance to the general election in the fall. We hope the board’s endorsements will help ease that decision. Good luck!

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