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Atkinson Not Seeking Re-Election

, Posted: Wed, March 7 2012 at 4:50 PM, Updated: Wed, March 7 2012 at 5:17 PM

Republican State Senator Jason Atkinson announcing he will not run for re-election... just hours before the deadline to file candidacy for his seat.
    The timing of Atkinson's move is angering many of those on the other side of the aisle, including Governor John Kitzhaber.
   "The Senate President called, the Governor called."
    They weren't pleased with the 11th hour announcement because it didn't allow them to prepare a candidate.
   "That's politics."
    Just hours before Tuesday's 5 pm deadline to file for office in the May primary... Atkinson announced after 14 years in politics, he will not run for re-election.
    "For me it's time to take a break and recharge my batteries."
    The District-2 State Senator says the timing of the decision wasn't politically motivated.
     "Honestly I hadn't made up my mind until last weekend."
    Adding that he didn't feel he was cheating the political process.
   "I lost my house to redistricting, I know what brass knuckle low down politics are and I have always tried to stay away from that."  
     Atkinson says two of his Senate colleagues were honored Monday in Salem... he didn't want to take away from them so he waited until Tuesday.
    "Not adding my name to that list, to me, was the classy way to do it."  
    He says he's received nothing but positive responses from constituents... and will be back soon, in what office he won't say.
   "I'm not out of politics for long."
    For now though, Atkinson is looking forward to life at home with his family.
    "Right now I've got a 9 year old and spelling tests, that's what we do."   
     Jackson County Republicans say they were also shocked by Atkinson's announcement.
    Meanwhile, only two candidates have filed to run for the District-2 Senate seat... Grants Pass Republican Herman Baertshiger and Cave Junction Democrat Jim Diefenderfer.

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