A Cascade Locks school teacher has thrown his hat in the race for the state District 52 office currently held by Rep. Patti Smith, R-Corbett.

Larry Cramblett, a Democrat, decided to file for candidacy this week after watching the political wrangling during two recent special legislative sessions to balance the budget deficit. He believes there has to be a more efficient way to conduct the people's business.

"To get something done both sides need to be willing to sit at the table and work with each other," said Cramblett, a native of the rural town.

He has taught at the Cascade Locks School since 1979 and currently instructs fourth grade students. During his tenure, Cramblett said he has made frequent trips to the state capital to speak out about issues related to education and his community.

His past political experience includes service on the city council and in an advisory capacity during the development of the city's comprehensive land-use plan. Cramblett acknowledges that the demands of a state office will be much heavier but said he is both excited and ready for the challenge.

"I just think it is important to work for the betterment of Oregon," he said.

With Cramblett's entry into the political arena, Cascade Locks will have two candidates seeking a state office. On March 1 former state representative Bob Montgomery, a Republican, filed his office challenge against incumbent Sen. Rick Metsger, D-Welches.

Two county government races are also contested, with Rodger Shock seeking to oust John Arens as the at-large chair of the Hood River County Commission, and Ladd Henderson vying for the District 1 seat now held by Commissioner Carol York. District 3 Commissioner Chuck Thomsen is running unopposed for another four-year term in office.

The majority winner of all non-partisan races -- including county board positions -- in the May 21 Primary Election will have his/her name as the sole listing on the Nov. 5 General Election ballot.

Other local offices open to challenge in the November election include Hood River City Council positions currently held by Paul Thompson, Carrie Nelson and Linda Rouches. Mayor Paul Cummings' two-year term is also expiring.

In Cascade Locks, Mayor Roger Freeborn could face an opponent in his re-election bid, along with city councilors Gene Miller, John McLean and Sandra Kelley.

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