Primary contests nearly all no contests

A voter drops his ballot in the drop box behind the Ashland Public Library on Tuesday afternoon. photo by Bert Etling
May 18, 2022

Most had only one name on the ballot to advance to November voting

By Bert Etling,

Walkovers ruled in Southern Oregon’s primary balloting, with Ashland’s incumbent state representative and senator hovering around 99 percent approval from their party’s voters. Primary races in the two county commissioner seats were similarly one-sided in three of the four contests, with no candidate on the ballot on the fourth.

Only one of the four contests at the federal level looked likely to be in doubt past Tuesday’s election night results, with the selection of a challenger to incumbent Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden a close call between two of the would-be Republican challengers.

Incumbent Commissioner Rick Dyer had 14,821 votes as of the 11 p.m. accounting Tuesday, according to the Jackson County Elections Office website, while prospective challenger Denise Krause recorded 13,549 votes. Each pulled in about 99% in their respective Republican and Democratic tallies.

Republican Colleen Roberts, also the sole candidate listed on the ballot, tallied 14,986, or 98%, of the votes as of Tuesday night. No one was on the ballot as a Democratic challenger for the Position 3 county commissioner post, but there were 4,635 write-ins, most of which were likely for former state representative and Medford councilor Al Densmore, who has announced he is running as in independent for the commissioner’s slot on the fall ballot.

Ashland Democrat Pam Marsh, state representative in District 5, had 8,414 votes or 99.62% as of 11 p.m. Tuesday in her primary, while prospective challenger Sandra Abercrombie was at 3,281 votes or 98.5% on the Republican ballot.

Ashland Democrat Jeff Golden, state senator in District 3, was at 11,361 or 98.74% of the votes in his primary. On the Republican ballot, which had two names from which to choose, Randy Sparacino led Kevin Christman 7,435 to 2,488, or 75 to 25%.

In the primary contest to be on the November ballot for Oregon’s District 2 representative to Congress, incumbent Republican Cliff Bentz had pulled in 51,793 votes, or 76 percent, a comfortable margin over two challengers on the ballot. On the Democratic side, Joe Yetter had 22,721 votes or 72%, with Adam Prine attracting nearly all the rest.

Incumbent U.S. Senator Ron Wyden again secured the Democratic nomination with 268,127 votes (89%), with the balance split among two challengers on the ballot, including former Ashland resident Brent Thompson, with 10,545 votes (4%), as of Tuesday evening.

The contest among Republicans to challenge Wyden on the November ballot was a tight race between Jo Rae Perksin, with 67,206 votes (32%) to Darin Harbick’s 62,629 (30%) as of late Tuesday. The remaining primary votes were split among another five candidates on the ballot and a few write-ins.

At the state level, former Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek appeared headed to capture the Democratic nomination for governor with 161,704 votes (55%) to leading challenger and current state Treasurer Tobias Read’s 98,057 (33%).

Christine Drazan led the Republican tally with 54,851 votes (24%), with Bob Tiernan in second with 42,910 votes (19%).

Email Executive Editor Bert Etling at or call or text him at 541-631-1313.

Share this article

Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Email him at

Latest posts

Mental health commitment ordered for serial offender

A local transient with a history of physically and verbally harassing local residents has been deemed unfit to stand trial in a Measure 11 assault case. Mathew David Todd, 39, of Medford, was ordered to undergo mental health and substance abuse evaluation and treatment at the Oregon State Hospital.

Read More >

Explore More... logo

Subscribe to the newsletter and get local news sent directly to your inbox.

(It’s free)