Debates Slated for Local Candidates, Public Q&A

While federal and state contests see most of the electoral drama each November, it’s the local election that impacts our lives the most each day. For Benton County, it’s a three member Board of Commissioners that do the governing. For the City of Corvallis, it’s the mayor and a nine member City Council. 

Benton County Election 

This year, two of the three County Commission positions are up for grabs. Vying for Position 2 are incumbent Democrat Xan Augerot, and challengers are Pacific Green Progressive Party candidate Mike Beilstein and Republican Tom Cordier.  

For Position 3, longtime incumbent Annabelle Jaramillo has chosen to not seek another term. The three candidates vying for the seat are Democrat Nancy Wyse, Republican John E. Sarna, and Libertarian Cody Serdar.  

These are four year terms, and Position 1 doesn’t come up for a vote again until 2022. 

City of Corvallis Election 

For the City Council, all nine wards come up for a vote every two years, and all but one councilmember is running unopposed 

In Ward 7, incumbent Paul W. Schaffer faces challenger Nic Bowman.  

The Mayor’s seat won’t come up again until 2022. City races are non-partisan. 

Debated Slated 

Debates scheduled over the coming weeks offer voters a chance to directly ask questions of the candidates, and get a deeper look at what each of the contestants brings to the table. 

Voters can access two styles of debate in this year’s local contests; The Corvallis Advocate CitySpeak Debates will offer an informal town hall vibe, while the NAACP/League of Women Voters debates will offer a more tightly timed formal structure. Both organizations offer the live debates for free, and will make videos available afterwards.  

The Advocate’s CitySpeak Debate is slated for Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 6:30 p.m.  

The Position 2 debate starts at 6:30 p.m., Position 3 at 7:10 p.m., and the City Council debate starts at 7:50 p.m. Live on the Advocate’s website or Facebook page.  

Most of the debate time will be scheduled for questions from the public. Viewers can submit questions before or during the debates on The Advocate’s social media posts for the event, including the live Facebook feed, or they can be emailed to  

The NAACP/League of Women Voters has scheduled their City Council Ward 7 debate for Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 7:00 p.m. The Benton County Commissioner’s debate is slated for Wednesday, October 14, at 7:00 p.m. Access is with Zoom:

The Corvallis Advocate’s CitySpeak series is co-presented by the City Club of Corvallis, and sponsored by First Alternative Natural Foods Co-op and Peak Sports.