CANYON CITY – Grant County Commissioner Scott Myers has filed to run for county judge, putting him in a race against incumbent Mark Webb.

Myers mailed his filing last week to the state Elections Division in Salem, and it was received Friday, Feb. 24. Webb filed for re-election to the nonpartisan post on Jan. 23.

The filing deadline is next Tuesday, March 6, for the May primary election.

A candidate for judge can win in the primary by getting a majority, defined as 50 percent of the vote plus one vote. If no candidate attains a majority, the top two vote-getters advance to the general election in November.

Myers, a Canyon City resident, said he’s been considering a run for judge over the past term. He is in his third four-year term as commissioner.

Myers said people have encouraged him to run.

He said he wasn’t focusing on any particular issue, but is concerned that the Road Department remains “a mess.” He said the Court’s relationship with the roadworkers’ union could be more hospitable and less hostile.

Road issues were a focus in the failed 2009 effort by a citizen group to recall Webb.

Myers also noted criticism of the Court’s attorney costs. He said it’s not acceptable to spend $8,000 or $9,000 a month on legal issues to try to settle a union contract that remains unsettled.

“I’m not a big fan of confrontation, and there’s been too much of it lately,” he said.

Myers was concerned last year about Webb’s intent to hire a forest consultant without seeking competitive bids. The Court eventually went out to bid on the consulting job.

Webb has said the county could hire the contractor he preferred as a sole-source provider, but Myers disagrees.

“We could have been sued on that, if we had gone ahead,” he said.

He said he agrees with Webb’s contention that the county needs to be involved in decisions made outside its boundaries, in places like Salem and Washington, D.C. However, Myers said he likely would spend less time on the road than Webb does now.

“There are a lot of unresolved issues here in the county, in the departments, that are not being addressed,” he said. “I would not be out of town two-three days a week.”

Meanwhile, Myers commissioner post is also up for election. It is the only partisan county job on the ballot.

As of last Tuesday, Feb. 28, the commissioner job has drawn three candidates.

Keith “Mick” Dougharity of Mt. Vernon and Byron Haberly of John Day are running on the Democratic ballot in the primary, and Dennis Voigt of Prairie City is running on the Republican side.

Two other county races are contested.

Three candidates have filed for Justice of the Peace. John Day resident Kathy Stinnett, the Justice Court clerk and pro tem justice, filed in September to seek the post being vacated by the retirement of Terry Farrell. In recent weeks, two more candidates filed: Mt. Vernon resident Dan Propeck, who works in animal health sales, and Mt. Vernon resident Chuck Coffman, a reforestation supervisor from Mt. Vernon.

The post has a six-year term.

Grant County Sheriff Glenn E. Palmer also faces competition for a new four-year term, challenged by John Day Police Patrol Sgt. Richard Gray.

Several other candidates for county office are unchallenged so far, including:

• Surveyor – Incumbent Mike Springer of Benchmark Land Surveying, in his first four-year term, has filed for re-election.

• Treasurer – Kathy Smith has filed for her ninth term in the post.

• Assessor – Lane Burton, also seeking a ninth term, has filed.

The Grant County Public Forest Commission, an independent agency formed by an initiative drive in 2002, also will have seven positions and two alternates on the ballots.

County Clerk Brenda Percy said the commission originally was to have staggered terms so they weren’t all on the ballot at the same time, but that wasn’t take care of the last time it came up for a vote. This year, the vote will remedy that, with three seats and one alternate post earmarked for two-year terms, and the rest for four years.

As of Friday, two candidates had filed for the Forest Commission: Dan Bishop for the now-vacant Position No. 2 and King Williams for re-election to Position No. 5.

Filings for the county posts other than judge are done by fee or petition at the County Clerk’s Office in the Courthouse in Canyon City.




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