Cannon again joins commissioner’s race


For the third time, Hermiston businessman Michael Cannon is running for Umatilla County commissioner.

He filed Tuesday, making it a three-way race for Commissioner Dennis Doherty’s seat. Doherty announced over the summer he will not seek re-election.

On Oct. 13, Umatilla County sheriff’s Lt. Glen?Diehl filed as a candidate for Doherty’s seat;  Hermiston businessman Perry Hawkins filed Oct. 17.

Umatilla County Emergency Manager Jim Stearns filed last summer and later withdrew his candidacy.

Cannon, 30, said he was waiting to declare until he had an idea who his competition would be.

Cannon has twice run unsuccessfully for county commissioner, but has not held elected office.

In 2008 he ran against three other candidates, including Doherty, for position No. 3. He lost in the primary, taking only 9.37 percent of the vote. Doherty won the November election that year.

In 2010 Cannon ran again, this time against Bill Hansell. Hansell also won, but Cannon took a significant bite out of the vote, 40 percent.

“I?still think I’m the right man for the job,”?Cannon said Tuesday evening. “I see I’m a good leader.”

At the same time, Cannon called himself an “average Joe” who knows what everyday struggles the people of Umatilla County deal with.

Cannon grew up in Hermiston, and after earning a degree in aviation science, couldn’t find the work he wanted as an aircraft mechanic.

So he started his own businesses. Cannon said he runs two: a pilot car business, leading wide or long loads on the interstate, and a DJ business, playing music for weddings and other events.

He sees the county like a business and said he wants to make it appeal to customers.

“I don’t believe government makes jobs,”?he said. “We make an environment welcoming for businesses to come to this area.”

As for how to make it welcoming, he wasn’t sure.

Cannon said he would turn to the people to tell him what kind of future they want for the county and he would work toward that.

“I honestly feel most people in the county don’t feel like we have a direction,” he said. “We’re just kind of here. Our leaders need to step up and say, ‘Where is the direction you want to go? Where do you want to be in the future?’ And let’s get there.”

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