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Candidate for United States Senate campaigns in Oakridge

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Darin Harbick, candidate for U.S. Senate, speaks to a gathering at Big Mountain Pizza on Monday, March 14th. Harbick for U.S. Senate photo


By ROB DEHARPPORT/For The Herald  —  Monday night U.S. Senate candidate Darin Harbick addressed a crowd and answered questions at Big Mountain Pizza in Oakridge.
Harbick is a lifelong Oregonian, raised along the McKenzie River, a successful entrepreneur who began as a young man working for Safeway supermarkets. In his early 20s Harbick and his wife Kail purchased Phil’s Phine Phoods grocery store in the McKenzie community of Rainbow.

A history of building businesses

Together they grew the store to be a great success. After two years, tragedy struck when the store burned to the ground. Within a year, they had rebuilt a new store known as Harbicks Country Store. They sold the store a few years ago. During this time, they had also created and purchased several other successful businesses. These included: Takoda’s Restaurant, the Holiday Farm Resort, another restaurant in Sisters,  and  the Ark77 Recovery Center in Rainbow, a drug and alcohol treatment center.

Topics of discussion were varied

Harbick had always wanted to drive a log truck as his dad had done for many years. In 2016, he bought a self-Loader truck along with a dump truck and started Harbicks Logging and Hauling Inc.
 During Monday’s campaign stop at Big Mountain Pizza, Harbick shared a few these stories and casually conversed with the crowd. Topics discussed were as varied as they are at all dinner tables and living rooms in America. The topics ranged from the Ukraine war, fuel prices, inflation, crime rates, drugs, immigration and forest management as well as catastrophic forest fires.
 Harbick has been busy creating community jobs and a secure future for his family throughout his life. He and his wife have raised three kids. He’s coached woman’s basketball and served several terms on the McKenzie School District’s board of directors.

A receptive crowd

 The crowd that gathered all seemed to say it was refreshing to visit with a political candidate who is not a career politician. Harbick is certainly the underdog as a newcomer to politics.
Winning the May Republican Primary election is the first step. Challenging Senator Ron Wyden, who has been in the Senate since 1996, is a huge challenge that Harbick is determined to win. Harbick believes that he can bring his lifelong experiences in building businesses, supporting his community and providing jobs as a much-needed attribute to becoming a public servant in the US Senate.
Harbick enjoyed his Oakridge visit and hopes to return to Oakridge for the Tree Planting Festival and Parade in May. Like many Americans, he believes it’s time for some commonsense change in Washington DC.
Darin Harbick can be reached at

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