Bend Mayor Pro Tem Jodie Barram announced Thursday that she plans to run for a seat on the Deschutes County Commission in 2014.
Barram, a Democrat, seeks Position 1, held since 2010 by Tony DeBone, a Republican from La Pine.
“I am up for the challenge,” Barram said. “I am applying for the job and I believe I am the better candidate for the position.”
Barram was appointed to the Bend City Council in 2008 and then elected to a four-year term in 2010. Barram also previously served on the Bend Planning Commission for four years.
“Having grown up here, I understand what is needed regionally,” Barram said. “I want to take this opportunity to use what I've already been working on and expand it.”
Barram, 40, was born in Redmond. She is a part-time educational assistant. In a news release issued Thursday, Barram said that if elected, she will leave the part-time job to focus on the County Commission.
“I'm running for Deschutes County Commissioner because I'm compelled to continue working on a regional level to help find positive solutions for the future,” Barram stated in her announcement. “As your county commissioner I will focus on enhancing our economy, expanding higher education and while ensuring livability and engaging in regional partnerships. It is essential that we show leadership and focus on the commission to address issues of land use and job creation. We can make Deschutes County more livable for working families.”
Candidates face a primary election in May 2014 before the general election in November 2014.
Barram said if elected she plans to make higher education a priority.
“Tourism is a great industry, but it's not the only industry,” she said. “We need to create more living wage jobs in Central Oregon and the way to do that is through higher education.”
No other Democratic candidates have announced plans to run against Barram in the primary. Candidates must announce their candidacy by March. Barram said she chose to announce her campaign early so she could start raising funds.
“I knew if I wanted to start asking people to support me financially, I needed to file my candidacy,” she said. “I've been thinking about running for a couple months.”
DeBone has not announced whether he will seek re-election.
“I am honored to be doing the job,” DeBone said. “I will work with my family to decide what is the right decision for us.”