With the Oregon State General Elections being held this week, Harlow residents prepare to cast their votes. The statewide vote will determine a new governor as well as the outcome of seven different ballot measures.
Former Oregon governor John Kitzhaber aims to secure a third term in office for the state of Eugene as the democratic candidate. Kitzhaber’s campaign has put an emphasis on the importance of early childhood education.
NBA basketball star Chris Dudley is running as the republican candidate, hoping to secure his first position in politics. Dudley has been holding a small lead over Kitzhaber in recent polls, but the gap is small and inconclusive. Political analysts expect this election will be the closest race for Oregon governor in more than a generation.
Bartender Danielle Rath is cautious of Dudley’s campaign, concerned for the low wageworkers of her industry.
“He wants to cut servers and bartenders down below minimum wage, which is going to be a huge break for us,” says Rath.
The ballot measures consist of four citizen initiatives and three legislative recommendations. Among them in Measure 76, which aims to continue lottery funding for parks, wildlife, and watershed protection.
Denise Downs, a local parks and recreation facility manager, shares a concern for the candidates and the outcome of the ballot measures.
“I don’t think there’s going to be much difference for me,” says Downs, “I don’t have a lot of confidence in the candidates running, those already in office and those running against them.”
Science Factory employee Tahea Evenstad does not foresee the election having major impact on the Eugene community.
“I’m hopeful there won’t be any big changes,” says Evenstad, “a lot of the major players are running on incentives for the wealthy, not the average person.”
Evenstad places her faith on the city officials in Eugene to make progress in her neighborhood.
“Locally the people in office are capable of doing what’s right for this community and I don’t see the need for any drastic changes” says Evenstad.
The last ballots will be accepted November 2nd by eight o’clock PM.