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Running for Governor the Hard Way 

Whatever you might think of Richard Esterman’s politics, you have to admire his persistence.

Esterman, a Sisters resident and professional photographer, has been struggling to get on the ballot as a candidate for governor. He tried to do it by petition, but fell short of the 18,000 signatures he needed.

Now, in a last-ditch effort, he’s appealing for Oregonians to come to an “Assembly of Electors” convention tomorrow and put their names on a nominating petition. He needs at least 1,000 of them.

“I have put my personal life on hold this year, putting myself in jeopardy financially and otherwise,” Esterman said in an e-mail. “I have done this because I am doing something that I believe in.  We all complain and often do nothing.  It is not that we don't want to do anything.  It is because we have become prisoners to our obligations to survive. Now is the time for us as Oregon Citizens to STAND UP and make a difference.”

Esterman’s policy positions, as he describes them on his website, are a mixed bag. He says, for instance, that “taxes to new businesses large and small need to be cut,” but also that “there are too many elected officials in the pockets of big business.” He wants the state legislature to meet every year instead of every two years, and if elected he says he won’t live in the governor’s mansion but instead will “open it up to the people in need, [or] use it for a help center or find away to collect revenue from it.”

Esterman calls himself “the Commoner Candidate,” and basically his motivation boils down to this: “I am running for Governor because I am fed up with the way things are today.”

If you’re fed up too and you’re not very excited about either of the major party candidates, you might want to go to Esterman’s Assembly of Electors and help him get on the ballot. It will happen from 5 to 8 p.m. at Tony’s Hay Depot, 21235 Tumalo Road, Bend. For more info, e-mail

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