Lauren Sprang held a modest lead late Tuesday night in the race for an open seat on the Bend Park & Recreation District board of directors.
Sprang, a technical writer and first-time candidate, was leading Adam Bledsoe, owner of The Loft in Bend and younger brother of former NFL quarterback and Bend resident Drew Bledsoe, in Tuesday’s special district election.
Two other candidates, Deschutes County Deputy District Attorney Jason Kropf and public speaking coach Joanne Mathews, were running further behind.
Sprang was endorsed in her race by the Deschutes Democrats and the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, while Bledsoe collected a record haul of campaign contributions and advocated for the district to scale back spending and assist the city in addressing road maintenance.
Tuesday night, Sprang said she liked her chances heading into the election but was unsure if she would prevail.
Sprang said she plans to continue getting up to speed on issues within the park district and the community at large.
She said she plans to meet with the other members of the park board soon, as well as city councilors Barb Campbell and Nathan Boddie, both of whom endorsed her.
In the second contested race of the night, longtime board member Ted Schoenborn beat back three challengers, newcomer Laura Boehme and perennial candidates Justin Gottlieb and Ronald “Rondo” Boozell.
Schoenborn, a member of the board since 2003 and its current chairman, said he was pleased to prevail despite spending next to nothing on his campaign. He said he thinks Sprang will make a good addition to the board.
“She’s been very serious about getting educated on the issues, and I think she’ll be able to contribute to the insights that the board tries to have,” he said.
Nathan Hovekamp won a four-year term, running unopposed.
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