The Deschutes County Clerk remains, thankfully, a non-partisan position in Deschutes County. That's as it should be, given the clerk's role in overseeing all local elections. While the local Republican Party has worked to push the candidate whose personal politics reflect its own, we're not going down that road. While we like Geri Hauser and believe she would make a fine clerk, we see no reason to pull Nancy Blankenship from her post simply because she is registered as a Republican.
And Hauser, a Democrat, hasn't given us a particularly compelling reason to reconsider that position. A GIS specialist with Deschutes County, Hauser has worked closely with Blankenship's office and believes that it needs to be modernized with greater emphasis on computer record keeping. We think that's a good goal and would encourage Blankenship to take Hauser's criticisms seriously. However, we don't believe that they rise to the level of a "fireable offense," which is essentially what Hauser is asking voters to do. To the contrary, Blankenship has a long and commendable record of civil service that dates back to her years as the Redmond city recorder and has by all accounts continued at the county. Her opponent believes that she can squeeze out greater efficiencies and increase the level of customer service. We support that, but we're not sure that wholesale change in leadership is what's required at this point.