Researching The Candidates, 2020

Researching The Candidates, 2020

By Vivian Kirkpatrick-Pilger

New Faces, and Old Faces in New Places

Fortunately, Josephine County has good choices to vote for in the upcoming primary election. I have talked to several of the candidates. These are not necessarily in the same order as your ballot pamplet because I list them as I talked with them or reviewed them in comparison to other candidates. These are my thoughts and I am not representing any agency, group, or party.


Let’s get started: County Commissioner Position 3: Herman Baertschiger has made his way through the shark infested waters of our statehouse, leading a revolt among the minority Republicans that crippled the majority Democrats and kept them from passing loathsome bills on Cap and Trade and Vaccine’s and a couple of other bills. This guy is a leader. Josephine County needs him. We currently have three people who are former City Councilpersons. During their tenure we have had a levy passed. They want to expand the City of Grants Pass (eating up more County land, and homes and people). A lot I own went from $600 in taxes annually to $1300 annually after it was annexed to the City. There were no improvements, I did not get any increased services, but my taxes more than doubled. We need Baertschiger in there to make sense of things. While I personally like the three Commissioners, it doesn’t mean I think they do the right things. It makes sense to elect Herman Baertschiger. I particularly like the way he finds ways to do the right things. Or stop the wrong thing from happening.

County Commissioner Position 2: RON SMITH. This is the guy who has been a lifelong resident of Josephine County. He has led many fights for freedom in our County. His ideals are solid. He is a scrapper, and will not take any B.S. He has a lifetime of history of our county and how it got in this shape along with some great ideas on how to straighten it up. I like him for this job. He is running against an incumbent (the incumbent also being a former City Councilperson). I like the incumbent on a personal level (as I do all the Commissioners) but when we have new blood step forward and want to take this county on a new course, we need to explore that. The County needs someone with roots that go deep. When you have a conversation with this guy, he has a stunning array of knowledge. You almost feel like you need to get your notepad out to take notes, because this guy is an endless fountain of knowledge. He has a very solid background of knowledge and a love for Josephine County that does not go unnoticed. A powerhouse, ploughing towards a new direction is how I think of him.

Dan DeYoung Position 2: is the incumbent. We have heard his ideas about lighting rods on the top of mountains to curtail wildfires. We have heard a lot from the amicable Dan DeYoung. He is fun to talk with, or listen to. But, he has supported tax increases; aka Levies. He said he wouldn’t before he was elected. But changed his mind after he got elected. That seems a bit disingenuous to me. He retired from his Business; then ran for City Council, then stepped up to County Commissioner. I don’t think he has done a “bad” job, but I don’t think he has done all he could/should for JoCo. There are many things that could be done just on the face of things. I asked him to increase the Citizen’s speaking time from 3 minutes to 5 minutes, actually I asked all of the Commissioners. Their response is that you can make an appointment with them and call or come to their office to talk. That isn’t the point. People take the time out of their day to come to the meeting, and at 3 minutes, they get a bell and have to stop. It used to be 5 minutes until the commissioners decided it was too long to listen to the people. It needs to go back to 5 minutes. They could also put “In God We Trust” back up on the wall. They could also return the furniture to the lobby that was removed a few years ago because those in office at the time didn’t like the “people” congregating in the lobby to discuss things. None of these commissioners has made any such good will gesture to “the people”.


Zacharie Maynard called me. He is a former Army Ranger, Staff Sergeant with a tour of Afghanistan under his belt. He fought for our Country, now he wants to fight for his state. When I read his FB page and talked to him on the phone, I was impressed. I particularly liked # 11 on a list on his Facebook page, because he is well prepared to sit in our Statehouse:

“How Deploying to Afghanistan Prepared Me For This Pandemic: (Copied from one of my fellow Military Friends)”. (Number 11 is just about how he is going to have to handle being a State Rep.) I’ll let you read it for yourself. Mr. Maynard is 27 years old. But an old soul. He has lived a few lifetimes in those 27 years. I like that he is not a “politician”. We seem to have a lot of luck with people who have not been seasoned politicians. Herman Baertschiger recommends Mr. Maynard. He has met with him several times. Maynard seems soft spoken, but carries the understated vitriol needed to combat the crazy people in Salem.

Mr. Maynard is what we need, we need to be preparing our next generation to fight for us in the State House. We need young Republicans who “get it”, who know how the world really works and have not been in the “in crowd” , not been “seasoned” in how to play in the Legislature by training in workshops and taught by local politics. Fresh faces and ideas, and people willing to put themselves out there are hard to come by.


Alek Skarlatos. I have been hearing about this gentleman. The fact that one of our MOST CONSERVATIVE U.S. SENATORS, TED CRUZ endorses him is almost enough for me. He has a very impressive ballot statement backed up with pretty impressive action. He touches on all the hot button issues that we want a representative in that district to address. Timber, economic development, defending the Second Amendment, Pro Life, Pro-Veterans, Healthcare, and the free market being the best way to solve the healthcare issues, not socialized medicine. He is young, conservative, and hopefully can join a cadre of young conservatives to replace the retiring conservatives that have been fighting so long.


Art Robinson! In all fairness I shouldn’t write about this guy, I have been very fond of him and his family for a few years. This is probably the most qualified Candidate in the State, for any job. If you read his curriculum vitae or “resume” you will see what I mean. He is detail oriented, he is also a guy who sees the BIG PICTURE. His vast knowledge covers all subjects, his spine of steel can lift our County out of any mire in which we might find ourselves.. His negotiation skills and his processing of facts, knowledge and understanding of the human spirit make him a fantastic choice to be a State Senator. Neither does he does suffer fools kindly. He is a no-nonsense kind of guy. The power of his knowledge is like a knockout blow. Some people have not liked that, those that don’t deal with facts well. But then when you have him in your corner, it is an asset. I really like Art for this job. He has the will and the power of knowledge to carry on Herman Baertschiger’s legacy in that seat, and will most assuredly set new heights making his own legacy. Give your state, Oregon, a gift, Vote for Art Robinson for State Senator!


Replacing Greg Walden…U.S. Representative Second District: There are eleven (11) candidates for this position! The most notable are the ones who have actually made a record of supporting Oregon, and especially rural Oregon. CLIFF BENTZ is one of the most notable. He stood with the eleven State Representatives, alongside Herman Baertschiger in the walkout that denied the Democrats a quorum when the Democrats where all set to pass the Cap and Trade bill and other egregious bills. He has walked the talk. Truly a conservative who will fight (and has) for “we the people”. He is heads above his competition for this seat. Knute Buehler has been attempting to do a makeover of his “stand”. I use the word “stand” pretty loosely here. The ads you see on TV describing how he is attempting to make over his image, are true. He opposed Trump in 2016, he is on record for doing that, with video of him saying it. He has been a Pro-Choice Candidate, and has not aligned himself with the Republican Party Platform, nor has he behaved as a true conservative. He says he is all those things, but in reality, he has previously proven he is not. Other candidates such as Jimmy Crumpacker, while sounding good, have no record to recommend that they would do what they say they would. Apparently he is only a recent resident of the district, having moved out of his parents house in Portland to be able to run for the district. Knute has approved those ads (hit pieces) he is running against Crumpacker, and Crumpacker has not denied those hit pieces. The Right to Life organization led a protest against Knute Buehler when he had a “meet and greet” at the Republican Party Headquarters.

While Cliff Bentz calmly runs on his outstanding record. Rising in the polls, he will easily overtake the other candidates as they cat-fight it out to primary day. Keep your eye on the ball, the calm guy, Cliff Bentz is the winner here, he already has the moral compass, while Knute is still looking for his own moral compass.


We have the same Democrat running who has plagued our State for years. He (Merkley) is not Conservative, but as you know, is a Progressive Liberal Democrat. There are a few Brave Republicans running against him, but I only know one of them. JO RAE PERKINS. She has spoken at the Josephine County Republican Women’s group a couple of times. She is dedicated, hard working, and will read every bill before voting on it. She has consistently said this, and actually reads many of them on the State website now. She is a consistent Conservative.

The other person deserving a look is PAUL ROMERO JR. His ballot statement is great, but so is Jo Rae’s. I liked what he said about “the current Socialist agenda in the Oregon Democratic Party is chipping away at our freedoms and liberties one Progressive law after another…this year is the last best hope for Oregon to return to a true Participatory Democracy – not a one party state”. JO RAE PERKINS has been saying the same thing. I have not personally vetted him, but I do know Jo Rae as a trusted Conservative Republican.


DONALD J. TRUMP. He is our candidate. Let’s show him we appreciate all the dung he has marched through for us, and vote big time for him!


I know there are other candidates for all these races. These are the ones I looked over, did some digging on, and wanted to comment on. Others that are running, if you want to know more about them, you can do background research on them. Those I have offered my opinion on are the most formidable candidates.

Your Ballots should arrive soon, so you will want to know how to mark it and get it back in quickly. The Election is May 19. The ballot has to be in the Clerk’s office by May 19, if you have to drive it there, there are two drop off’s at the county courthouse in Grants Pass on 6th Street. They remain open until 8 PM on May 19 (that’s a Tuesday).

The most important thing you can do for your future and the future of your country is to VOTE.

© 2020 Vivian Kirkpatrick- Pilger – All Rights Reserved

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[BIO: Vivian Kirkpatrick-Pilger is a lifelong conservative who has served in public office, worked at the University of California for 28 + years, held many appointed positions such as a member of the JOCO Planning Commission, Fire Safety Committee, and serves as the President of the Josephine County Republican Women. Vivian relocated from California when she and her husband retired. She has shown her dedication to Josephine County by her participation as a Precinct Committee Person and was an Alternate Delegate to the 2016 Presidential Convention in Cleveland, Ohio where Donald Trump was nominated as the Republican Presidential Candidate.]


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