Two candidates for a Jefferson County Commissioner Position squared off Thursday night ahead of the Nov. 8 election.
“I have worked very hard as a county commissioner because I love the citizens, and I love my community and want to continue doing that,” said Jefferson County commissioner Mae Huston.
“I just ask for your vote and represent a new future for this county, and we have a lot of work to do,” said candidate Mark Wunsch.
RELATED: Madras mayoral candidates tackle policing, growth in forum
RELATED: Homeless crisis top-of-mind at Deschutes Co. Commissioner candidate forum
Huston, the incumbent, has been a county commissioner for eight years.
“We have some serious challenges that we are facing right now,” said Huston. “One is the number of positions open that people are not applying for and another is inflation, which is causing pain to a lot of people.”
Wunsch, the newcomer, was born and raised in Madras and currently runs a cattle operation.
“It’s been 24 years since we’ve had a farmer or rancher on the commission,” said Wunsch. “I was determined to support my neighbors, my friends in that industry, but I have seen so many opportunities that I can for work for the constituents of Jefferson County.”
The event was held and moderated by the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce. Questions covered things from transportation, ADUs and specific problems the candidates would like to see emphasized.
“What are the three basic needs,” asked Wunsch. “Food, water, shelter. We are struggling with all three right now. Maybe not necessarily financially, but advocacy wise this is huge.”
“Many of those developments, the houses are all sold before the houses are built,” said Huston. “So, how to balance the needs of housing with the land that is available to build housing on will be a challenge that will continue to be worked on.”
Audience members also asked some questions before candidates gave their closing statements.
You can watch the full forum here.