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The most important race not on the general Jefferson County ballot : NUID Board

NUID LOGO - The North Unit Irrigation District elected new board members on Election Day.

While Oregon voters elected a new governor, Jefferson County elected a new commissioner, Madras and Culver elected new mayors on Tuesday, Nov. 8,

that same day a quieter, but equally if not more important election took place for board member of the North Unit Irrigation District.

Only the district's approximately 900 patrons could vote and they chose to retain Vern Bare on the board and elected new member Ryan Feigner.

In recent years, the drought and environmental pressures have elevated the importance of this board, which made this election more interesting.

The Habitat Conservation Plan, signed in January 2021 between the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Deschutes Basin irrigation districts, has restricted the amount of water Jefferson County farmers get.

Two candidates in this election, JoHanna Symons and Trish Backsen, have been openly critical of the HCP.

Symons ran against Feigner and Ron Oliver to represent division three. Unofficial results showed Feigner with 244 votes, Symons with 207, and Oliver with 54 votes.

Backsen ran against Bare to represent division five. Bare won 298 votes to Backsen's 196.

The board will make the vote tallies official at their next board meeting, Tuesday morning, Nov. 15.

The district plans a Town Hall meeting for patrons Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 6 p.m. at the Maccie Conroy building on the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.

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