We are not necessarily making this endorsement based on personality differences—Tony DeBone is easy-going and likable, while his challenger Jodie Barram is high-energy and equally likable. But we are endorsing Barram because she has shown that she can translate her effusive personality into actively soliciting citizen input on issues and building coalitions.
We should note that this endorsement is not a slight of DeBone's contributions and voice to county commission over the past eight years. In fact, the current geo-political balance of the county commission is enviable—Redmond's former mayor representing interests like the revenue potential from the county fairgrounds from the county's north edge and also, as a former corrections officer, understands the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office; Tammy Baney, with a background in real estate, transportation and health care, represents the more urban and suburban interests; and DeBone balances out the southern edge of the county, giving voice to the county's more rural corners and to woefully under-represented La Pine.
However, Barram is one of the most impressive and active community members—she does her homework and geeks out about policy details that would put most people to sleep. As she departs Bend City Council, we want to see her bring her thorough, consensus-building approach to county government. Her endorsement and varied lists of contributors speaks volumes to the reach that Barram has developed—and, we believe, will bring to the Deschutes County Commission.
Watch our endorsement interview with the candidates below.