City & Government, Cottage Grove, Creswell, Pleasant Hill

Emmons viable D12 write-in Dem candidate in fall

Although Darin Harbick won the Republican primary vote for District 12 with over 80% of the vote against incumbent Charlie Conrad in the May Primary, he will not be running unopposed this November.

Democrat Michelle Emmons received 655 write-in votes, accounting for 53% of those votes. 

Emmons

“I feel honored that my community put their faith in me to lead us,” she said.

Emmons previously ran for this seat in 2022 against Conrad and received 42.45% of the vote. She said to her understanding, “that was a very high result as a Democratic candidate in a traditionally very conservative district.”

She said her campaign differs from Harbick’s because she “has lived the life of leading in common ground goals, and that is the way I’m going to lead: by bringing people together on common ground and working together to listen rather than to just talk so everybody can have a seat at the table and have their voices heard.”

Harbick seems to want to do the same, though. He said he was not shocked to see he will be going against a Democratic candidate for this seat and added that his tactics to find out what’s important to all people within the district, not just Republicans, have not changed. He still plans to attend city council meetings, meet with local police chiefs, and go door to door.

“The Democrats aren’t just going to let a seat go uncontested because then that allows me to go help other constituents in other races,” he said. “You’re going to see me working hard, finding out exactly what all the patrons of District 12 are after, what’s important to them, so I encourage everyone to reach out to me, tell me what’s important, and I plan on working hard for all of District 12. We’re not always going to agree on certain policies and topics, and I understand that, but this has always been a conservative district, and I feel I represent that very well.”

One issue that does differentiate the candidates is how they are addressing House Bill 2002. Harbick has stated that “parental rights is a No. 1 priority” for him.

“I know people want to point me out as an extremist. That’s the least of what I am,” Harbick said. “I have my core values, and faith is my No. 1 value, and biblical principles are important to me, so that’s what I bring to the house of representatives.”

However Emmons stated she believes there has been misinformation spread by Harbick in particular about what HB 2002 really did.

“One of the ways my campaign will be differentiated from Darin Harbick’s will be the reproductive rights issue and also fostering a sense of reality around the bill that was passed because there seems to be some misinformation around minors under the age of 15 being able to access abortions without parental consent. That can only happen if there are two medical professionals who agree that is the best way to move forward. Otherwise, in the state of Oregon, medical consent is set at age 15 already, so there wasn’t any real change to that at all,” she said.

“The only real change that happened with HB 2002 was that there was mandated insurance coverage for addressing reproductive access and gender affirming care, so insurance companies are now mandated to provide those resources to their subscribers, and that mandate was not a part of requirements before HB 2002.”

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