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Every election cycle always turns into the same old story. It’s literally candidates from both major parties, Republican and Democrat, arguing, slinging mud and blaming the other for every ill faced by families throughout the United States.

I’m sure that in the months ahead, as I campaign for Clackamas County Commissioner, I’ll be asked many times by many people which of those two parties I belong to.

The answer? None of the above.

A growing number of Oregonians and Americans are choosing not to align with Republicans or Democrats, and I’m among them. We’re seeing more and more voters change their registrations away from those two and in favor of non-affiliated status. In fact, in Clackamas County, around one-third of voters are non-affiliated. I’m confident that I can represent them better than anyone else.

That’s because unlike other candidates, I’m not beholden to any party machine or special interest groups. This better enables me to focus on solving the problems presented to me without running the risk of upsetting or offending partisan entities. If elected commissioner, my sole allegiance will be to the people of Clackamas County, regardless of their individual or collective affiliations.

The decisions that I make in office will not be made through the lens of any political calculations. Nor will they be based on any plans for re-election, as I have no intention or serving long-term or becoming a career politician.

In this race, voters will have at least three choices. They can pick the incumbent commissioner, who has gone out of his way to be a champion of the status quo over the years. He’s been in office long enough that he is undoubtedly a member of what I would call the “courthouse crowd.” As long as he doesn’t rock the boat too much, he continues to curry favor with those who are perfectly content with things just the way they are.

The other major choice is a party candidate from the other extreme of the spectrum. Her candidacy all but assures that the same kind of identity politics that we’ve seen at the state and national levels will find their way into our county race.

But I’m not interested in any of that. What I want is what’s best for the county’s residents, and my loyalty isn’t to any particular ideology or individual political figure.

My family has very deep roots in this county, and I’ve lived here for almost my entire life. Clackamas County is my home.

Most of my adult life has been spent running the businesses that my family started after investing their future here. I’m happy and proud to say that it’s paid off for us, and we’ve enjoyed being part of the community this whole time.  

At this point in my career, I am able to devote and dedicate the time that it takes to be the full-time commissioner that this county deserves. I have no intention of maintaining any status quo or spending the next few years preserving alliances just for the sake of keeping my position on the board. But I do intend to use my background in business and my status as an independent, non-affiliated voter to make sure that the residents of this county get the best services they can out of their local government.