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KBRA, experience key in race
Candidates exchange points in race for state House position
By ELON GLUCKLICH, Herald and News, 4/11/10
H&N photo by Elon Glucklich - Bill Garrard, right, details his opposition to the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement as Karl Scronce looks on. Scronce is looking to unseat the incumbent Garrard in the May 18 primary election for 56th District Representative in the Oregon Legislature.
Spurred by opposing views on Klamath Basin water settlement and dam removal agreements, state Rep. Bill Garrard and Republican challenger Karl Scronce exchanged pointed comments Tuesday on the other’s ability to hold effective leadership in the state Legislature.
The two are vying for the Republican nomination to represent the 56th District in the state Legislature. They spoke Tuesday at a Klamath County Republican Women’s forum, where candidates for a number of local, state and federal offices spoke to a crowd of about 30 in advance of the May 18 primary election.
Garrard, who has represented the district since 2000, opposes the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement and its related dam removal settlement, which aims to resolve water disputes in the Klamath River Basin and advocates removal of four dams.
But Scronce, past president of the National Association of Wheat Growers and a board member of the Klamath Water Users Association, believes the agreements are necessary and accused Garrard of developing his position on the KBRA based on information from water rights lobbying organizations.
“It is time for a change. It is time to start fresh. It is time to get true representation for our citizenry,” Scronce said.
Garrard said Scronce was running as “payback” for his position on the KBRA.
Garrard said his experience working with political blocs from around the state makes him best-suited to bring state resources to the Klamath Basin.
“Never in the history of this state have we ever needed legislative experience more than we will in 2011,” he said. “My opponent in this primary has never run for public office, never held a public or political seat, yet he wants to go to Salem and make a lot of changes. The next Legislature is no place to send a rookie.”
Also at the forum were Klamath County Commissioner John Elliott and challenger Dennis Linthicum.
An opponent of the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, Linthicum called it a “glaring example of misrepresentation” by the state Legislature.
“The vast majority of the community would rather not suffer the economic burden of removing the dams,” Linthicum said.
Elliott said community efforts, such as the push for a long-term veterans care facility and the approval of an independent tax base for the county library system, are evidence of the current commissioners’ work to increase Klamath County’s standing throughout Oregon.
“I am privileged to be part of a dynamic team, looking to the future and dealing with current challenges,” Elliott said.
Page Updated: Sunday August 29, 2010 02:52 AM Pacific
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