Decision 2024: Primary Election Races to Watch

OREGON – While there are no statewide measures in Oregon’s May 2024 Primary, the future of how Jackson and Josephine County’s government operates, is up to voters.

In Josephine County, amending the county’s charter is on the ballot. The changes include adding commissioners and hiring a county manager, among others.

In Jackson County, three local measures are up for a vote, put on the ballot by the group Jackson County For All. It wants to expand the county’s Board of Commissioners from three to five and make them non-partisan. Jackson County Commissioners are currently the only partisan commissioners in Southwest Oregon.

County Administrator Danny Jordan has said it would cost the county $200,000 to $500,000 in overhead expenses to add two county commissioners.

Jackson County For All also put a third measure on the ballot that would reduce commissioners salaries to $75,000 with future salary changes tied to average wages in the county.

If the ballot measures are approved by voters, residents would get to vote in the two new commissioners in 2026.

Only one seat on the Jackson County Board of Commissioners is available this year, as Republican Commissioner Dave Dotterer is retiring.

Only one Democrat, Denise Krause, the woman behind Jackson County For All is running.

However the race to be her Republican opponent in November is one to watch.

Medford Mayor and the city’s former Police Chief, Randy Sparacino is up against David Arrasmith and Logan Leverette Vaughn.

Jackson County will have a new District Attorney next year.

D.A. Beth Heckert is retiring and threw her support behind Chief Deputy DA Patrick Green. Green only has one challenger in Defense Attorney Alyssa Bartholomew who previously worked as a prosecutor in Washington State.

Jackson County Election Results

Tuesday’s Republican Primary for Senate District 2, representing Josephine County and parts of Jackson and Douglas counties could be a close one.

One-term Senator Art Robinson can’t run again because of Measure 113.

His son Noah, a political newcomer and chemist, and Canyonville State Representative Christine Goodwin are now looking to succeed him.

The two candidates support many of the same issues, including gun rights, parental choice in schools, low taxes and timber, and they both oppose abortion.

The winner will face Biotechnology Consultant and Democrat Tracy Thompson, who is also a political newcomer, in the fall.

In Josephine County, two new county commissioners could be elected Tuesday.

That’s because these races are non-partisan.

Neither Commissioners Dan DeYoung or Herman Baertchiger are seeking reelection.

Tonight four people are running for each of the available seats on the board.

If a candidate in either of these races gets 50% plus one vote, a simple majority, they can win outright.

If no one gets a majority, then the top two candidates will be on the November ballot in a runoff.

Josephine County Election Results

In the race for the State Legislature, District 28 State Senator Dennis Linthicum can’t seek reelection due to Measure 113.

This seat represents all of Klamath County and parts of Jackson County.

Linthicum’s wife Diane, is facing off against Klamath County Commissioner and former Klamath Falls Police Chief Dave Henslee.

Because there are no Democrats running in this race, the winner is almost assuredly heading to Salem in 2025.

Dennis Linthicum has held this seat for eight years and cannot run again after walkouts in the Senate.

Klamath County voters can’t technically elect a new sheriff, but it could be a foregone conclusion.

Sheriff Chris Kaber has decided not to seek a third term in office. His son, Ryan Kaber, is one of seven men running for Klamath County Sheriff.

The full list, includes two other sheriff’s office staffers in Lieutenant Billy Stripling and Corporal Darren Krag.

If someone gets 50% plus one vote, they are nominated and will be the only one on the November ballot.

If nobody gets a majority of the vote, the top two finishers will have a runoff in November.

Klamath County Election Results

Ballots can still be dropped off to an official drop box before 8 p.m. Tuesday.

To find a nearby drop box, visit the Secretary of State’s website.

To get more election results not covered here, head to the NBC5 News Election Coverage webpage.


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