BIG Candidate Endorsements for May Primaries

The Oregon Primary Election date is May 17, 2022

Here in Coos County we have 9 candidates vying for three positions on the Primary Ballot, with three people competing for each of the positions:
County Commissioner Position 2: John Sweet, Pam Lewis, and Cristina Bettersworth.
County Commissioner Position 3: Melissa Cribbins, Chase Carlson, and Rod Taylor. 
County Clerk: Julie Brecke, Matthew Borgens, and Diane Rich. 
After reviewing information, records, and conducting zoom meetings with these individuals,

BIG endorses the following candidates:


County Commissioner Position 2

John Sweet (incumbent)

This  endorsement is made with some reservation since no candidate for this position demonstrated the intentional concern to promote diversity that is BIG’s focus.  At this time, we feel Sweet has demonstrated common sense during the recent pandemic and provides a steady hand and integrity.

County Commissioner Position 3

Melissa Cribbins (incumbent)

Cribbins has had significant  experience working with diverse communities.  She also demonstrates an awareness that Coos County is changing; change that can be positive and inclusive.  

County Clerk

Julie Brecke

Brecke states clearly that her goal is a well-organized, fair, unbiased, transparent County Clerk Office that abides by the Oregon Secretary of State confidentiality process.  She seeks to assure that elections run smoothly, with integrity and dignity.  
*In a 3-way primary election, the candidate needs 50% of the vote to win. If no candidate gets 50%, then the 2 candidates with the highest number of votes will go to the general election.*
Positions and ballot issues on the Primary Ballot:
Click HERE 
Ballot issues Coos County residents will need to vote on:
Click HERE


Role of a County Commissioner: County commissioners are a county’s key policymakers, overseeing the operation and administration of the county. Commissioners are the elected officials of a county’s legislative branch, the County Board of Commissioners, serving in a similar role as a city councilmember or a state representative or senator. Commissioners are responsible for overseeing the county’s management and administration, representing county interests at the state and federal level, participating in long-range planning, and managing the county budget and finances.

Role of a County Clerk: “The County Clerk is responsible for registering voters, maintaining up-to-date voting lists, accepting declarations of candidacy for public office, and coordinating the conduct of elections at the county level. The Clerk’s Office plans, coordinates and conducts all elections in Coos County.”


Candidate Video Interviews

We want to extend a sincere gratitude to the following candidates who made time to be interviewed by us here at BIG: Melissa Cribbins, Pam Lewis, and Matthew Borgens. Also, thank you to Julie Brecke for answering our questions via email after being unable to attend our interview because of a conflict with jury duty. 

The following candidates did not respond to our requests for an interview: Rod Taylor, Chase Carlson, Diane Rich, John Sweet. 

The following candidate declined an interview with us: Cristina Bettesworth. 

Below you will find links to candidate interviews, some recorded with us at BIG, and some with the League of Women Voters.


• John Sweet
Coos County League of Women Voters interview

• Pam Lewis
Bandon Inclusivity Group Interview

• Cristina Bettesworth
Coos County League of Women Voters interview


• Melissa Cribbins
League of Women Voters interview

Bandon Inclusivity Group Interview

• Chase Carlson
League of Women Voters interview

• Rod Taylor

League of Women Voters interview

Coos County Clerk

• Matthew Borgens:

Bandon Inclusivity Group Interview

• Julie Brecke

Bandon Inclusivity Group Answers
League of Women Voters Interview

• Diane Rich

League of Women Voters: declined to be interviewed. No response to BIG

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