ashland.news
June 14, 2024

Incumbent Republican Rep. Bentz to face Democrat newcomer Ruby

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay
May 21, 2024

Ashland School Board member wins Democratic primary

By Shaun Hall, Rogue Valley Times

U.S. Rep. Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario, appears to be on his way to a third term in Congress after easily defeating Prineville Mayor Jason Beebe in Oregon’s primary election to be his party’s candidate to represent the sprawling, heavily Republican 2nd Congressional District that takes in Jackson and Josephine counties, according to unofficial election returns at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

On the Democratic Party side, Daniel W. Ruby, a member of the Ashland School Board and executive director of the Rogue Community College Foundation, appears to have handily defeated Steve W. Liable, a children’s book author and retired U.S. Air Force captain from Grants Pass.

Bentz and Ruby will square off in the general election, Nov. 5, to represent the district, which takes in 20 counties, all east of the Cascade Mountains except for Jackson and Josephine counties.

U.S. Rep. Cliff Bentz, R-Oregon, in January announced he’s backing former President Donald Trump. Bentz campaign photo

As of 8 p.m. Tuesday, Bentz was leading Beebe 82.5% to 17%, or 53,850 to 11,687 votes; Ruby was leading Laible 84.8% to 13.7%, or 24,945 votes to 4,015.

Contacted after the first returns came in, Ruby said he’s looking forward to the general election campaign and “any opportunity to contrast myself with the incumbent.”

“Starting tomorrow with launching the general campaign button, it’s going to be a lot of driving around Central and Eastern Oregon,” he said. “Really getting the message out. We need new leadership to bring resources back to Oregon and keep resources in Oregon.”

Bentz representatives did not reply to an emailed request for comment sent Monday.

Dan Ruby, poses with one of his campaign signs in Ashland. He is expected to be the Democratic nominee for representative for Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District. Ashland.news photo by Bob Palermini

Bentz, 72, is a career lawyer and former longtime state legislator (2008-20) from Ontario, on the Oregon-Idaho border. He first won his party’s nomination for the U.S. House four years ago, when Republican Rep. Greg Walden stepped down after more than 20 years in Congress. He sits on House committees for the judiciary and natural resources and chairs a subcommittee on Water, Oceans and Fisheries.

In 2022, Bentz won a second term to represent the district by a margin of 67.5% to 32.4% over retired U.S. Army doctor Joseph Yetter of Azalea, the Democratic Party’s candidate.

Key issues for Bentz include his opposition to the removal of dams on the Klamath and Snake rivers, the expansion of national monuments in Oregon and Biden Administration policies along the U.S.-Mexico border. He supports former President Donald Trump for president and supports Trump’s call for a border wall.

Bentz vows to protect gun rights, opposes government-run health care and is pro-life. He says the federal government is guilty of “gross mismanagement of our federal forests and the horrific fires that result.”

Ruby’s priorities include education, housing and behavioral health. He has a master’s degree in secondary education. His concerns include the need for better rural access to broadband internet, more career/technical education, more mental health providers and federal aid to fix aging school buildings, according to Ashland.news.

Ruby is co-founder of Sunstone Housing Collaborative, incorporated in January to provide affordable housing to families and school district employees in Ashland. He was elected to the Ashland School Board last year.

Reach Rogue Valley Times outdoors and environmental reporter Shaun Hall at 458-225-7179 or shall@rv-times.com. This story first appeared in the Rogue Valley Times.

Picture of Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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