Farmer, planning commissioner files for county office
Dayton farmer and business owner Kit Johnston, who also serves on the Yamhill County planning commission, has announced he will run for a spot on the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners. Johnston seeks the seat which may be vacated by commissioner Casey Kulla, who is running for Oregon governor as a Democrat.
"I think it'd be nice to have a farmer on there, someone with a little bit of a different background than your typical politician," Johnston said. "I run a small business, a farm, and I'd like to bring a commonsense approach.
"I'm excited at the opportunity to contribute to our county," Johnston said. "The way things have been going in recent years, I believe that now is the time I can give back to my community in a positive and productive way. With my diverse background in business and farming, I have the mindset and work ethic to be a good addition to the Board of Commissioners."
Johnston is a fifth-generation Oregonian, having farmed in Yamhill County for more than 25 years, according to a release from his campaign. He has served on the planning commission since 2020.
On what can often be a politically divided, contentious board of commissioners, Johnston said he hopes to help lower the temperature.
"I think the main thing is just to have common sense and listen to both sides," Johnston said. "I'm going to try and hit it right down the middle. These positions have gotten very … loud on both sides. They need to be willing to listen to both sides of an issue and I think it's gotten loud because they come up with hot-button issues and say it's their way or the highway."
Johnston and his wife Caralee live in Dayton with their two daughters. He said he hopes to get out into the community more soon and have conversations with voters. He said he believes his time on the planning commission has given him insight into a number of issues that impact people countywide, as has his experience in agriculture.
"If somebody wants to talk with me one-on-one, or someone wants me to come speak to their group, I'm very open," he said. "Don't care if it's Democrat, Republican or Independent. I'll sit down and have a conversation, share my points of view and go from there."
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