Anticipating a debate among county commissioner hopefuls, voters packed the library’s main meeting room for last Thursday’s League of Women Voters Candidates Night, and well—Position 3 opponents Tim Dehne (G) and Annabelle Jaramillo (D) showed, along with Xan Augerot (D) who is running for Position 2. Republican candidates Jerry Jackson and Paul Cauthorn, running for seats 2 and 3 respectively, declined invitations for the debate.
In September, Jackson and Cauthorn were also no-shows for a debate hosted by City Club of Corvallis. Both these debates ranged between 70 and 80 attendees each. Of the last three Corvallis debates, Republicans Cauthorn and Jackson have only been willing to show for a Gazette-Times forum with an audience of less than 25.
Jackson closed the night’s discussion stating he would not attend the Corvallis League of Women Voters’ October Election Forum. Cauthorn very kindly declined to give comment regarding his absence when we reached him by phone Friday.
League of Women Voters rules only allow candidates to be seated for a debate if their opponents show, so while Green and Democrat Dehne and Jaramillo did debate, Augerot only attended.
Augerot and Jaramillo are favored to win their races in November, given Benton County’s longstanding track record as a Democratic Party stronghold.
By Matthew Hunt