The owner of a Tumalo pizza shop will challenge sitting Deschutes County Commissioner Tony DeBone in a May Republican primary.

Ed Barbeau, owner of Pisano’s Woodfired Pizza and a former private investigator, announced his candidacy Friday after registering as a candidate with the secretary of state’s office last week. He’s running to focus on bringing more high-tech businesses, including aviation businesses, to Deschutes County, he said Friday.

The commission is too distracted by hot-button issues like marijuana to invest in creating a business-friendly environment in Deschutes County, he said. Building relationships with companies now will help his teenage granddaughters and their peers stay in Central Oregon instead of leaving for better jobs elsewhere, he said.

“I’ve got two grandkids that I want to have high-tech jobs,” Barbeau said. “We’ve got the schools, we’ve got the kids and now we need the jobs.”

Commissioners also should support Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson, who opposes the county’s permitting of marijuana greenhouses because they’re illegal under federal law, Barbeau said. DeBone and Commissioner Tammy Baney have to own their decision to allow recreational marijuana businesses in the county, Barbeau said.

Barbeau, 60, previously ran a primary campaign against Baney in 2010, receiving about 46 percent of the vote to her 54 percent. He also ran unsuccessfully for the Bend City Council in 2012.

DeBone and Baney have both filed for re-election. No other candidates have entered either race.

— Reporter: 541-633-2160; jshumway@bendbulletin.com

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