Aug. 26 is the last day for local voters to file for several local offices

The 2014 general election is less than three months away and the deadline to file for local races is soon approaching.

The race for Crook County Commissioner featured two candidates in the primary, with incumbent Seth Crawford defeating Jack Seley to earn the Republican Party nomination. Although no Democratic candidate filed for the position, Crawford recently gained some new competition as non-affiliate candidate Walt Wagner filed to run.

Crook County Clerk Dee Berman said that the deadline to file as a minor party member or non-affiliate is Aug. 26, and the chance for Republicans or Democrats to file has already passed.

“The candidates from minor political parties and members of no political party were excluded from running for that office,” she explained. “They had to wait until the (June 4) filing date.”

What makes the race particularly unique is the passage of a Crook County ballot measure during the primary that makes the commissioner offices nonpartisan.

“The measure goes into effect 30 days after the day the election was certified,” Berman said, “which means that they (commissioner candidates) are going to be listed on the ballot the same way that any nonpartisan office is listed.”

Going forward, the commissioner and judge offices will be decided in the May primary in the same fashion as such county offices as assessor. However, the offices of county sheriff and clerk, though nonpartisan, will be settled in the general election this November.

Sheriff Jim Hensley is running unopposed for re-election while Cheryl Seely is the lone candidate for clerk. Because they have no competition, their race did not appear on the primary ballot, but will in November as dictated by Oregon statute.

Had Hensley or Seely faced opposition, voters would have decided which top two candidates would square off in the general election – unless the winning candidate earned 50 percent of the overall votes plus one.

Several City of Prineville offices are up for grabs as well, with the terms for three council seats and mayor expiring at the end of 2014. Mayor Betty Roppe and councilors Steve Uffelman and Jack Seley have filed for re-election, while no candidate has yet filed for the office currently held by Dean Noyes. The filing deadline is Aug. 26.

Candidates can file to run for the mayor position specifically, but cannot run for a particular seat on the council since all are considered at-large. Instead, the positions are filled by the top three vote-getters.

Those wishing to file for a city council or mayor position must see City Recorder Lisa Morgan.

“We have candidate packages available here,” she said. “They (candidates) need at least 20 signatures (to file). I always recommend they get more because inevitably there are some that are not valid.”

The 2014 general election will be held on Nov. 4.

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