Eleven candidates vie for county seats

Three County Commissioner seats are up for election in the 2018 Lane County primaries. East Lane, West Lane and Springfield Commissioner terms expire at the beginning of 2019 and all three current seat-holders face opposition.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, candidates need to receive at least 50 percent of the vote in order to win in the primaries; otherwise, the top two candidates advance to a runoff election in November.

County commissioners form a board that legislates budgets, hires county employees and enacts local ordinances. With three of the five positions on the ballot contested, a change in policy could be forthcoming

The race for West Lane is between incumbent Jay Bozievich of Elmira, Lane County Health and Human Services employee Beverly Hills, and former Lane Community College instructor Nora Kent. The hot-button issue in this election is the aerial herbicide spray ban, with Kent taking a strong stance against the sprays.

West Lane County contains cities north to Junction City, west to Florence and south to Lorane.

Six candidates are vying for the East Lane Commissioner seat on the ballot in November. Candidates include current Commissioner Gary Williams, real estate broker Heather Buch, Dexter Lake’s Kevin Matthews, independent Frank King, former LCC student James Barber of Walterville and Tim Laue, a University of Oregon political science graduate residing in Blue River.

East Lane County contains Coburg and Marcola to the north, Oakridge to the south and just beyond McKenzie Bridge to the east.

The race for the Springfield seat has only two candidates: incumbent and former Springfield mayor Sid Leiken faces Joe Berney, another Springfield resident.

Lane County has begun sending out mail-in ballots, the primary elections will be held on May 15. Information on all candidates can be found on Lane County’s website.