Incumbent Tony DeBone will face two challengers in the Republican primary election: Scott Stuart and Thomas McMcmanus.
Stuart is a member of People’s Rights, the far-right extremist group founded in 2020 by Ammon Bundy. He owns Christian Ministries Insurance, which provides insurance coverage “specifically designed to protect the Bride of Christ,” and offers trainings that match “Biblical Principles to Gettysburg Battlefield strategies.” Stuart stirred controversy in 2021 by dressing up as a confederate general at the Redmond 4th of July parade, and he has been a regular gadfly at local school board meetings.
McManus is a Republican Precinct Committee Person who unsuccessfully sought appointment to represent House District 55 in the Oregon legislature in 2019. Then in 2021 he lost reelection to the Fall River Homeowners Association board of directors, garnering a mere 6% of the votes among his neighbors. According to documents filed with Deschutes County, McManus is an environmental health and safety consultant.
While DeBone is the heavy favorite to win the May primary, his victory is far from assured. In the 2018 Republican primary, then chair of the Deschutes Republicans Central Committee Patti Adair defeated incumbent Tammy Baney, a moderate admired by Republicans and Democrats alike. Moreover, DeBone’s refusal to endorse current Deschutes Republicans chair Phil Henderson in his 2020 bid for reelection is widely rumored to have drawn the ire of party leaders.
Stuart’s entry into the race, and DeBone’s accompanying rightward turn to shore up his Republican base, raises the stakes of this election. It is vitally important to support candidates who will pursue policies for the benefit of all Deschutes County residents, free of influence from political partisans and ideological extremists. Please consider donating to Team Tatom today.