Klamath Falls group considers write-in effort for state legislative seats

Klamath Falls, Ore. – A group in Klamath County is exploring the option of finding write-in candidates to challenge two men who have an inside track at election to the Oregon legislature.

Senator Doug Whitsett and Representative Gail Whitsett decided last week not to seek re-election.

Dr. Ralph Eccles says he wasn’t expecting the move, “I and a lot of other people were totally shocked and taken by surprise when they suddenly backed out of the race.”

The Whitsett’s move cleared the way for former Klamath County Commissioner Dennis Linthicum, and businessman E. Werner Reschke to run for the legislative seats unopposed.

“Two other people that most of use republicans in this county do not feel comfortable with,” said Dr. Eccles.

Mike Britton adds that he wasn’t happy with the procedure, “I just really believe in my heart this wasn’t the proper channels that happened.”

About 40 people attended a forum Wednesday morning organized by Klamath Falls Mayor Todd Kellstrom to identify candidates for a possible challenge.

“And organize a campaign to write them in,” said Mayor Kellstrom, adding that a working group was appointed to review possible candidates, “and report which ones are acceptable, and we’ll winnow that down to about 2 candidates.” Kellstrom hopes to have the working group report back by Friday.

Jonah Hakanson hopes to have his name on the November ballot as a non-affiliated candidate for state representative. Hakanson was at Wednesday morning’s forum, but he left early after he felt the Mayor did not allow him to speak, a claim that the Mayor denies.

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