This is truly a tough race to call. Both candidates are qualified, but in very different ways. Incumbent Scott Ramsey is contemplative and calm. "I take in a lot of information," he explained about his decision-making process. Meanwhile, the challenger for his seat on council, small business owner (Wabi Sabi) and community activist Barb Campbell is direct and excitable. "I'm the quarterback," said Campbell in explaining what her role on City Council will be. Asked if she would want to be mayor, she didn't flinch: "Absolutely."
Interestingly, current city councilor Ramsey seems to agree that City Council needs more leadership to move forward issues—and, in saying so, may have articulated the best reason to replace him on council.
We agree. City Council needs more direct leadership—and leadership that actively draws in residents' viewpoints, as Campbell does as the founder of Slower Safer Bend. We do hope, however, that Campbell also takes a few lessons from her competitor—and works to build a deep knowledgebase of bureaucratic know-how, and a certain degree of calmness.
But beyond leadership styles and approaches to decision-making, this race also hinges on the actual decisions made. While we respect Ramsay's studied calm, we disagree with his votes on important values-based issues such as the surface water irrigation project, in which City Council plowed forward a decision favoring development over ecological protections by pushing to install a larger water pipe than necessary. We believe Campbell, on the other hand, will represent the values that best characterize Bend.
Watch our endorsement interview with the candidates below.