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(Klamath County Commissioner John) Elliott loses county seat

  by Ty Beaver, Herald and News 5/20/10
     Klamath County will have a new commissioner in 2011 after incumbent John Elliott was unseated by challenger Dennis Linthicum in Tuesday’s Republican primary. Linthicum garnered nearly 63 percent of the registered Republican vote, while Elliott received about 37 percent.

   “I’m surprised to see how well we did,” Linthicum said.

   Linthicum will advance to the November general election, where he will face Democrat Kirk Oakes of Chiloquin.  

   The Republican candidates said the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, which Elliott supports and Linthicum opposes, possibly was a factor in the race. But Elliott said Tuesday he’s not sure how a change in the commissioner’s office would affect the landmark document.

   Linthicum said the tight margins of other contested primaries across the country led him to expect this type of result in his primary race. Along with the KBRA, which seeks to resolve conflicts over water in the Klamath River watershed, he believed his fiscal conservative stance also was a rallying point for voters.  

   Elliott, who has served as a commissioner since 1997, said though his opponent’s opposition to dam removal on the Klamath River likely won him votes, that stance is unlikely to impact whether the dams come out.

   The commissioner said he had no regrets, and he stood by the issues he worked on.

   “I think the good Lord has other things for me to do, and I’m looking forward to finding out what those are,” Elliott said.

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