VOTE 2022: Oregon state senate District 3

A voter drops his ballot in the drop box behind the Ashland Public Library during the May primary election. Ballots in the general election on Nov. 8 must be deposited in the box by 8 p.m., or mailed in time to receive a Nov. 8 postmark. photo by Bert Etling
November 7, 2022

Incumbent State Sen. Jeff Golden faces off with Medford Mayor Sparacino staff report

State Sen. Jeff Golden, an Ashland Democrat and incumbent, faces Medford Mayor Randy Sparacino, a Republican, in the District 3 race Tuesday. 

Golden’s endorsements
Oregon Education Association
Oregon Progressive Party
Oregon Service Employees Association
Oregonians for Safe Gun Storage
Renew Oregon
Sierra Club of Oregon
Start Making A Reader Today (SMART)
Working Families Party
OR Coalition of Police and Sheriffs
Indivisible Oregon District 2
Joint Council of Teamsters #37
American Association of University Professors – Oregon
American Federation of State, county, and municipal employees

Golden, 72, has served as a Jackson County Commissioner and legislator, as well as a carpenter and contractor, journalist, river guide and host of the “Immense Possibilities” program on public television. He attended Southern Oregon University and Harvard University, graduating with a Master’s Degree from Stanford University.

“I’m asking to return to the Senate to make sure that national pressure to strip women of reproductive rights gets no traction here, and to defend Oregon democracy against ‘stop-the-steal’ uprisings designed to overturn elections,” Golden said, in the Oregon Voter’s Guide.

Sparacino’s endorsements
Oregon Hispanic Business Association
Oregonians for Affordable Housing
National Federation of Independent Businesses/ORPAC
Crime Victims United
Oregon Chiefs of Police Association
Sheriffs of Oregon
Oregon Veterans Association
Oregon Forest Industries Council
Oregon Family Farm Association
Sheriff Nate Sickler, JCSO
Cynthia Wright, Medford School Board Director
Alan DeBoer, Former State Senator

Golden also said he wants to build on accomplishments during his previous term, including,protecting our communities with the right mix of rigorous law enforcement, education and human services that lift people towards self-sufficient lives.”

He pledged to rid the Rogue Valley of criminal cannabis operations and to safeguard Oregon from “mega fires,” and support small businesses to boost community economies.

“There’s so much left to do,” Golden said. “I ask for your vote to help get it done. Questions? Ideas? Call me anytime to talk over any issue.”

Golden shared his cell phone in the Oregon Voters’ Pamphlet.

Sparacino, 53, a Republican and 30-year city employee for the city of Medford, has served as mayor of Medford since January 2021. He also served in the U.S. Army Reserve and Oregon National Guard. Starting as a bicycle cadet with MPD in 1990, he worked his way up through the ranks at the department, achieving the role of police chief in 2016 and retiring in 2019. Sparacino also serves as the chief policy advisor for the city of Medford. He holds a Masters degree in management and a bachelor’s degree in social science from SOU. 

Sparacino’s resume also lists service as vice-chair on the Rogue Community College Board of Education, chair of the Jackson County Airport Advisory Committee and Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police Board.

Sparacino touts support for law enforcement, and that he “won’t defund them.” He said he has built a stronger relationship between law enforcement and the community during his time as police chief. He pledges to make communities a more affordable place to live, work, and raise a family by demanding accountability and opposing higher taxes.

 Sparacino supports what he calls “proper and active management” of forests. 

“We should not hold property owners solely responsible, while state lands are held to a different standard,” Sparacino said, in the Oregon Voters’ Pamphlet.

Reach reporter Holly Dillemuth at

Ballots must be in the Ashland drop box off Gresham Street behind the Ashland Public Library by 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8, or dropped in a mailbox in time to get a Nov. 8 postmark. More information is available in the Jackson County Voters’ Pamphlet.

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Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Email him at

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