Oregon Forestry Dept. official files for Deschutes County Commission seat

Bend resident Phil Chang announced today that he is running for the Deschutes County Commission.

“I believe communities coming together is the only way to solve big problems. Ten years ago, I helped bring together environmentalists, the timber industry, firefighters and community leaders to find ways to protect our neighbors from wildfire and restore wildlife habitat while keeping the forestry industry healthy and creating local jobs,” Chang said in a statement announcing his candidacy.

Chang joins fellow Democrat Greg Bryant in the May 19th primary race.

The seat is currently held by Republican Phil Henderson, who was elected in 2016. Henderson has yet to file for re-election. The deadline to do so is March 10th.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Chang is currently the Federal Forest Restoration Lead with the Oregon Department of Forestry. He also served three years as the Central Oregon Field Representative for Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley. He’s a grad of Columbia University in New York and he earned a master’s degree in natural resource management and policy.

“If we work smart and work hard, we can meet the challenges ahead and ensure all residents have the opportunity for good-paying jobs, access to good education, and decent, affordable housing,” he said in the statement. “Hard work and collaboration will also help us preserve our farms, forests, wildlife habitats and clean air and water.”

His announcement also came with an early endorsement from Caroline Skidmore, a Bend-La Pine school board member.

“Phil’s proven success in bringing people together to solve complex problems in Deschutes County is paramount to the success of our communities. I am proud to be supporting Phil Chang for Deschutes County Commissioner,” she said.

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