Crook County voters will choose between two strong candidates for county commissioner in the May Republican primary election.

Incumbent Seth Crawford is being challenged by Prineville City Councilor Jack Seley for position 2. No Democratic candidates have filed, so the GOP primary winner is likely to win the post, barring a successful write-in or minor party filing.

Our endorsement goes to Crawford, 35, a real estate agent who was first elected to the post in 2010 and has a long history of effective involvement in the community. He has served on numerous governmental boards and committees as well as participating in activities such as Kiwanis, historical society, chamber of commerce, 4-H and trail-building efforts, to name just a few.

During his tenure on the Crook County Court, as the commission is formally named, it has expanded the tech sector, worked with Central Oregon Community College on its satellite campus, and improved government transparency. Crawford also cited the court’s success at streamlining the planning and building departments and helping to prevent a local mill from moving out of state, thus preserving 200 jobs. Crawford has worked on projects to expand trails, keep a flag flying at the entrance to town, and develop the tourism industry, among others.

He’s thoughtful, knowledgeable and deeply engaged in the community.

Challenger Seley, 77, is near the end of his second term on the Prineville City Council. He is retired from a long career with the Bureau of Land Management in several states, largely focused on planning and environmental analysis. He has served on the Central Oregon Area Commission on Transportation as well as the Development Commission of Northern Nevada.

Seley said he can bring a fresh perspective, analytical mind and deliberative style to county government, which he says has sometimes been too reactive rather than proactive. He believes he can increase cooperation with the city of Prineville, and that his lifetime of experience and maturity will improve county decision-making.

Crook voters are fortunate to have two appealing candidates, and we hope they can keep both involved and contributing. The choice for county government, though, should go to Crawford, who has been an effective commissioner with deep involvement in the community.