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A three-way

This is more or less what we were thinking of when we expressed some interest in the contest to replace Oregon Representative Tom Butler, whose eastern district is one of the most Republican in the state. Three candidates for his seat have surfaced, and they vector in from all over: Baker City, Burns and Ontario, each more than an hour’s drive from the other. In good weather.

Oregon House District 60

Local Republicans sent along in nomination the three people who expressed interest: Cliff Bentz, a lawyer at Ontario; Tim Smith, a rancher and consultant at Burns; and Deon Strommer at Baker City, owner of area restaurants and some other businesses. One each from the three full counties in the district.

All three have filed with the state as candidates for the job, too.

You might expect that’s pro forma, that after one of them is named to replace Butler for the rest of this term, the other two will fade away. We don’t know that won’t happen; but plenty of regional history suggests that one or both stay in contention for the race, to the May primary.

ALSO An indication of philosophical differentiation? From Oregon catalyst: “Taxpayer Association of Oregon has endorsed Tim Smith & Deon Strommer in the special election to replace retiring Rep. Tom Butler from Eastern Oregon. Both candidates are running on a strong pro-taxpayer platform. . . . candidate Tim Smith has been endorsed by Governor Victor Atiyeh, Kevin Mannix, Denny Jones and Ron Saxton. Deon Strommer has been endorsed by former Representative Tom Butler.”

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