At the beginning of the Tuesday, Oct. 6, candidate forum for the Hermiston City Council, incumbent Doug Primmer said there wasn’t a single person at the table that couldn’t do the job well.
We agree that this year’s council race has brought a solid crop of candidates with no bad options. However, since there are only four at-large seats and five candidates running, our endorsements are as follows:
Primmer has served constituents well over his eight years on the council and we believe he deserves another term. He brings strong experience and preparation to council meetings, asking good questions and offering relevant insight as the council tackles complicated issues. He is also doing good work on important city committees, including public infrastructure and public safety.
Rod Hardin has served 28 years on the Hermiston City Council. He has always served as a good liaison between the council and Hermiston’s faith community, resulting in partnerships that have benefitted the city as a whole. Through his decades of work with the National League of Cities’ Small Cities Council, he has formed a strong network with city leaders around the country and brings ideas from other cities to the table. In light of three of Hermiston’s eight incumbent councilors leaving this year, we believe the council will benefit from his institutional knowledge for another term.
David McCarthy is a relative newcomer after being appointed to fill his seat in June, but so far has hit the ground running and been an eager participant. He had a long history of community service and involvement before his run, including serving as president of Kiwanis Club, and we are interested in seeing what he will do with a full term in office.
Maria Duron is a strong newcomer to the race. While she has never served on the city council before, she has experience with holding office on the Hermiston School District’s board. Through past and current jobs with Umatilla Electric Cooperative and the school district, she has worked closely with the city and is a regular participant in Hispanic Advisory Committee meetings. She also has deep ties with communities that are sometimes marginalized, including Hermiston’s Latino residents.
Those endorsements leave out Nancy Peterson, the fifth candidate. We like Peterson from what we’ve seen so far — she comes across as smart, personable and passionate. But she is also less experienced than the other candidates, at a time of significant turnover on the council.
The good news is that she lives in Ward IV, which means she is eligible to apply to be appointed to a seat recently vacated by Doug Smith, which will be filled after the Nov. 3 election. If she does not win on Nov. 3, we hope to see her apply.
Editor's note: A previous version of this editorial misstated which city councilor had previously held the Ward IV seat.