Conservative News & Commentary

May 24, 2016 — by: G.W. Washington
Categories: Government, News

2016 Primary Election Results, Klamath CountyOn first glance the results of last Tuesday night’s election might seem puzzling. How could a conservative like Tom Mallams lose by a 2-to-1 margin and yet conservatives like Linthicum and Reschke win by wide margins? Why did the Predator Control ballot measure pass and the marijuana one fail? Those were some questions we wrestled with until we looked closer at the races and the data. Below are some truths that will help make sense of what happened in May’s primary election.

Principle #1: Voters preferred non-incumbent candidates in non-partisan races. Whether it was the two Commissioners’ races or the Sheriff’s race, it was clear that voters preferred someone new over someone currently in the job. Current Commissioners Mallams and Bellet were both beat by political new-comers Boyd and DeGroot. While Mallams was significantly outspent, the only difference in the Position #1 race was that Boyd was able to secure over 50% of the vote and not have to run again in November. DeGroot is the favorite against incumbent Bellet. It will be interesting to see if the trend of “throw the incumbents out” in non-partisan races continues this fall and onto 2018. 

For the Sheriff’s race Martin Rowley was seen as Sheriff Skrah’s substitute. Voters clearly preferred the two outsiders: Kaber and Lewis. Kaber and Lewis will have run-off election in November to see who our next Sheriff will be.

Principle #2: Voters preferred incumbents by wide margins in partisan races. Just the opposite was true in partisan primaries. From Walden, to McLane, to Linthicum and Reschke (seen as the replacements/incumbents for the Whitsetts), these Republican incumbents enjoyed large-margin victories. Even though Linthicum and Reschke were outspent between 4-5 to 1, the Republican voters were clear in wanting to keep the status quo for U.S. and State offices.

Principle #3: Tax Levies continue to succeed when they are tied to public schools or farming. While we at have been strong advocates for a “No New Taxes” policy, voters continue to squeak by public school and farming based levies. As new buildings are built and farming/ranching expenses are passed along to the tax payer at large the overall disposable income of Klamath residents continues to drop. The consequence of such policies is that Klamath becomes a less attractive marketplace for new businesses and entrepreneurial ventures.

So onto November we go. Will these trends continue or will they change? Only time will tell.


  1. Steve Souder ~ May. 24, 2016 @ 1:40 pm

    If the Republican party and or the Conservative PAC will not Financially and politically oppose measures such as the predator control, or the support of a conservative candidate the liberal tide will continue to turn the face of Rural Politics. We will regret non partisan entrants into local politics such as Sheriff and Commissioner . Steve Souder #
  2. Lisa J. ~ May. 24, 2016 @ 2:10 pm

    I find it amazing that the local businessmen/farmers want to pass a direct expense of their business on to the rest of us property tax payers in the form of "preditor control". I have deer herds literally parading through my back yard in the suburbs destroying my plants and trees and I have to accept that. Yet a cougar, wolf or other neucence creature that is destroying the farmers property can be dispatched now at my expense. This was the most amazing new tax on property tax payers I have seen passed. I'm still trying to figure this one out. #
  3. Lee Webber ~ May. 24, 2016 @ 6:10 pm

    I was hoping that most folks in the Klamath Basin felt they were paying enough in taxes. I'm sure another levy for schools would pass because "it's for the children". Once the levy passes, we see money being spent foolishly. If the general public only knew what goes on behind the scenes and how difficult it is to deal with the school administrator's (both city and county) they might think twice about providing money that should not be given to the school districts. #
  4. Ryan L. Miller ~ Jun. 1, 2016 @ 12:38 pm

    The election results weren't puzzling at all. Malllams lost for two reasons: he's proven he serves his own interests over the taxpayers', and Donnie Boyd ran a far more effective campaign. Linthicum and Reschke won because they had help from the Whitsetts to rig the election, not because they exemplified conservative values over their fellow candidates. I have no doubt that, if elected, Linthicum and Reschke will be one-term politicians because the same thing that happened to Mallams will happen to them. And I really hope they prove me wrong, because I don't want them to screw up this region's chances at success just because they can't stop harping on dam removal. #
  5. Gene C. Meyers ~ Jun. 1, 2016 @ 9:13 pm

    Ryan - I disagree on your comment about Mallams. While his case was being reviewed by the OWRD, he was allowed to continue using water. Call the OWRD if you'd like... those are the rules. Just because the local paper had an agenda against Mallams and misreported the facts in order to sell papers, doesn't convict Mallams.

    Anyone who knows Tom, knows he is an honest honorable man. As a county we will be far poorer without him in the commissioner’s seat -- someone who stands on principle, not the easy way out in order to stay popular.


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“When people are universally ignorant, and debauched in their manners, they will sink under their own weight without the aid of foreign invaders.”

— Samuel Adams, letter to James Warren, 1775

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