Smith announces bid for second term

Smith announces bid for second term

Jackson County Commissioner C.W. Smith announced Wednesday he will run for another four-year term in 2008.

"I intend to follow through with a permanent funding solution for the county," said Smith, who plans to file his candidacy papers within a week.

The 60-year-old Republican became commissioner in 2005 and was named chairman of the three-member Board of Commissioners this year.

Smith said he has helped steer the county through a fiscal crisis when the federal government cut $23 million in revenues that went into county coffers.

The loss of money forced the closure of libraries in Jackson County, creating an outcry from many residents.

Smith said a one-year extension of the federal safety net has provided an interim fix for the county's budget woes, but he's hoping to find a long-term solution that will put the county back on an even fiscal keel.

Gov. Ted Kulongoski recently appointed Smith to the Federal Forest Payments Task Force, a group that will push for continued funding of the Secure Rural Schools and Self-Determination Act.

Smith said part of his role on the task force will be to push for a statewide policy on timber resources that will include coordination with counties and the state.

Paulie Brading, chairwoman of the Jackson County Democratic Party, said two or three candidates might come forward to oppose Smith.

She said it was too early to reveal their names because they haven't decided to run yet.

Brading said the Democratic Party will hold a campaign school in January for 11 potential candidates running for various offices locally. The school will give the candidates a better idea what their strengths and weaknesses are as they head into the campaign season.

Whoever the candidates are running against Smith, Brading said Smith is a solid adversary.

"He is very formidable," she said.

Smith, a former Jackson County sheriff and a veteran, said he fully expects the Democrats will find a candidate who will run against him.

"I hope that whoever my opponent might be that they talk about the issues," he said.

Smith, who has an extensive background in public service, said he intends to have a clean campaign conducted in an honest manner.

Born in Medford and raised in Central Point, Smith and his wife, Gina, have three grown children.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 776-4476 or

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