Only one challenger emerges in four-seat Medford council race

MEDFORD — Six candidates filed by Tuesday's deadline for the four Medford City Council seats and the mayor's chair that will be filled in the Nov. 4 election.

Only Councilman John Statler, of Ward 3, will face a challenger. Statler, who owns a computer services company, and Chris Corcoran, a business development officer at a bank and former news anchor at KOBI-TV and KTVL-TV, will face off for the seat representing northwest Medford.

City officials last month said they were growing concerned because no one had expressed interest in running for Ward 1, now represented by Jason Anderson.

Anderson, who served for five years on the council, decided not to seek re-election because he wanted to spend more time with his family and give others a chance to serve.

By the 5 p.m. deadline, one candidate, Richard "Dick" Gordon, a retired concessions company owner, had filed for the Ward 1 seat that represents northeast Medford. Five others had picked up election paperwork from City Hall, but they either chose not to file for the seat or failed to collect the minimum of 25 signatures to appear on the ballot, according to the City Recorder's Office.

That means Gordon will appear on the ballot unopposed.

"That's a little disappointing, only one person filed," Anderson said.

Mayor Gary Wheeler, an optometric physician, and council members James Kuntz, Ward 2 in southwest Medford, a housing inspector; and Greg Jones, Ward 4 in southeast Medford, a credit counselor, also will be unopposed.

"I was hoping more people would get involved in making our city a better place to live," Anderson said. "Obviously I'm getting off the council so I understand the difficulty and time commitments with everything else going on in people's lives these days. It's a significant time commitment."

Anderson said serving on the council is on par with a part-time job.

The council represents a population of about 75,000 people and oversees a city government with a two-year budget of more than $262 million.

Reach reporter Paris Achen at 541-776-4459 or

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