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Your Voice, Your Vote: East Lane County Commissioner

Challenger Heather Buch hopes to take the seat away from current commissioner Gary Williams, who was appointed to replace Faye Stewart in 2017.

Posted: Oct 25, 2018 6:36 PM
Updated: Nov 5, 2018 11:24 AM

LANE COUNTY, Ore. -- Both candidates for Lane County Commissioner East Lane County, District Five, say adding jobs and more affordable housing are issues they hope to address if elected.

Challenger Heather Buch hopes to take the seat away from current commissioner Gary Williams, who was appointed to replace Faye Stewart in 2017.

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Buch, who works for St. Vincent de Paul and as a real estate broker, believes her experience will help the county add more affordable housing.

"We really need somebody with that housing background to lend their expertise to make some big decisions that we need to make to move forward on our housing needs locally," Buch said.

Williams said it's a very difficult issue.

"Lane County has provided $1.5 toward that endeavor," he added.

Williams said if he's elected he'll continue to work to balance the county's budget. He believes less government interference will allow business owners to thrive.

"The prohibitions on business are great in many ways," Williams said. "Heavily regulated, we need to figure out how to streamline that and get those regulations out of the way."

"People are really looking for a good, paying jobs so they can afford their rent," Buch said. "They can afford to buy groceries, put their kids in schools and just have a decent life."

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Both sides have gotten strong financial support. According to the Secretary of State's office, Buch raised over $170,000, including money from Oregon realtors and several unions. Williams raised over $200,000, much of it from business interests including timber companies.

Buch has received an endorsement from Congressman Peter DeFazio, while Williams has received an endorsement from Lane County Sheriff Byron Trapp.

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