News Briefs

Harbick wins Republican House race

Rainbow businessman defeats incumbent in District 12 primary election

By KEN ENGLEMAN/McKenzie River Reflections  —  Republican voters in the McKenzie Valley, Oakridge, Junction City, Cottage Grove, and other parts of East Lane and Linn Counties overwhelmingly marked their ballots for newcomer Darin Harbick over current Representative Charlie Conrad. Preliminary results for the May 31st primary gave Harbick an 82% to 17% advantage in Lane and a 58% to 41% win in Linn.

Photo by Amanda Meg

“When you win with that large of a margin, people assume it was an easy race,” Harbick said. “Let me assure you, we worked hard for every vote and I’m honored.”

No Democrat filed for the post, although there were reports Michelle Emmons of Oakridge had started fundraising efforts. Emmons, also known as Sunshine, was the Democratic /Independent nominee for the seat in 2022 but lost to Conrad in a 57% to 42% tally in the November 2022 general election.

The Lane County Elections Division’s initial returns included 917 write-in Democratic votes in the race. Details, however, are not yet available.

Conrad served as a police officer for 14 years and is a former Lane County employee. Some of his campaign issues included wildfire prevention, rural healthcare, and environmental concerns.

Harbick formerly owned Harbick’s Country Store and Takoda’s Restaurant in Rainbow. He co-owns Harbick’s Inc., a logging/dump truck business, as well as a motel and faith-based residential treatment home.

Harbick’s campaign included a large team, key endorsements, meet and greets, a lawn sign campaign, radio, television, door-knocking, and sign waving. “I’ve worked hard my entire life and this work ethic you will see from me again in the General Election. Then again for my 2-year term as District 12 Representative, if I am honored to earn the votes again in November.”

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