Two Republicans challengers of Democrat Alan Unger, 60, officially joined the race for county commissioner today by submitting filings with the Deschutes County Clerk’s Office. Phil Henderson, 56, will vie against fellow Republican Tom Greene, 58, who is a current Bend City Councilor, in the May primary for a spot on the November ballot.
The Deschutes County Commission is a three-person board that governs the county. Compensation for commissioners is roughly $80,000 per year. Unger, who is a former Redmond mayor, has served on the board since 2009.
Henderson, a bend attorney and businessman, has not held elected office, but has served on the Bend Budget Committee and as a board member for United Way of Deschutes County and the Heart Institute of the Cascades. He believes his experience in the private sector, including as President of Sun Forest Construction, has prepared him for the position.
“I learned in the private sector long ago that people have to be accountable for the money they spend,” said Henderson in a press release sent today. “We need to insure those values are upheld here in Deschutes County.”
Greene is a former real estate agent and worked in law enforcement with the United State Air Force. He announced his candidacy last fall at the same time his recent bankruptcy was disclosed, which he said was related to his work in the real estate industry. The city councilor has served on several other Central Oregon boards including the Bend Budget Committee, Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council and the Bend Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Candidates may file for the position through March 9.