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Republican trounces Democrat Kirk Oakes
Herald and News by Joel Aschbrenner 11/3/10

KBC photo: Linthicum Nov 2 watching the polls at his victory party >   

     The three-member Klamath County Board of Commissioners will remain completely Republican.

   Republican Dennis Linthicum of Bly beat Democrat Kirk Oakes of Chiloquin Tuesday, winning 72 percent of the vote.

   “It’s great fun to see the results and see people really liked what I have to say and what I stand for,” Linthicum said Tuesday night as he was leaving the Klamath   County Clerk’s office.

   Linthicum’s win continued a Republican streak on the county’s Board of Commissioners. The last time a Democrat held the job was 24 years ago.  Linthicum, a member of the Patriots, a local Tea Party group, unseated incumbent John Elliott in May’s Republican primary. The full-time commissioner job comes with a $68,000 annual salary.

   With 55 percent of the ballots counted, Linthicum had 12,577 votes. Oakes had 4,751.

   The high margin of victory wasn’t surprising, Linthicum said.

   “Klamath County is notoriously conservative, and (voters) are very true to their colors,” he said.


   Oakes, who ran unopposed in the Democratic primary, was surprised at the results.  

   “I wouldn’t have been terribly surprised to lose, though I fully expected to take it, but I was shocked by the margin,” he said after viewing preliminary election results at the Klamath County Government Center.

   Oakes said he plans to stay involved locally and will apply to sit on the Klamath Falls Area Strategy Development Advisory Committee.

   Linthicum will join Republicans Al Switzer and Cheryl Hukill on the Board of Commissioners.

   Linthicum’s campaign garnered strong support from area conservatives and groups like the Patriots, the Klamath Conservative Voters Political Action Committee and the Republican Central Committee.

   Oakes said during the campaign he expected Linthicum’s conservative views to split the Republican Party, leading moderate Republicans to cross party lines and vote Democrat. Klamath County is home to 9,274 registered Democrats and 16,318 Republicans, according to the clerk’s office.  

   Stances on KBRA

   The two candidates were split on the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, which advocates dam removal and aims to resolve water disputes in the Klamath River Basin.

   Oakes was a strong supporter of the water deal, while Linthicum said the agreement needs revision.

   Linthicum caught flak from opponents last month when he said he did not favor accepting grants because it loots money from taxpayers. He later rescinded his position, saying he does not want the county to rely on grants long term, but knows they are vital to the county’s budget in the short run.

   A self-employed computer technician, Linthicum graduated   from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in economics, and earned a master’s degree this year in Christian Apologetics from Biola University.

   Before moving to Bly with his family 15 years ago, Linthicum worked as a database system manager for several companies in Southern California.  

   Oakes, who describes himself as nonpartisan, has appealed to some local conservatives by saying he favors a more conservative, hands-off approach to regulating businesses.

   His political history, however, painted him more liberal.

   He campaigned locally for Oregon propositions 66 and 67, which raised taxes on corporations and the wealthy, and against proposition 36, which amended the Oregon Constitution to outlaw gay marriage in the state.


  H&N photo by Andrew Mariman

   Terrie Mumford records Republican gains in the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday at a gathering at the Chris Dudley headquarters in Klamath Falls.

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              Page Updated: Friday November 05, 2010 01:02 AM  Pacific

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