A 25-year-old Rogue Valley native has launched a write-in campaign in an attempt to face off against incumbent state Rep. Peter Buckley in the November general election.
A political newcomer whose name won't even be on the ballot, Medford resident Nick Card announced his write-in campaign Friday from his family's Central Point business, Combined Transport.
Card is seeking the Republican nomination for the House seat. No candidate from any party filed against Buckley, D-Ashland, in time to be listed on the ballot.
A former patent engineer for a law firm in Mountain View, Calif., Card said he was hardly daunted by his write-in status and was eager to begin the campaign efforts, during which he will focus on the region's need for jobs and new businesses.
Typically the stuff of small town elections, the write-in nature of Card's campaign, he said, was due to his recent return home.
Having just moved back in October, after his college years and being in the workforce, Card missed the filing deadline for May 20 primary election.
Initially thinking he would "run next time," Card said he was struck by the lack of jobs and the lack of opportunity locally and was urged by business owners in the region to put his name in the hat.
"For me, deciding to run for election really happened when I first came back here and realized the challenge other people my age faced in wanting to move back home but not being able to afford to live here if they couldn't find jobs," Card said.
"Our state's biggest challenge that I see is that our leadership is not listening to the needs of the community or the business community," he said.
A 2007 valedictorian of South Medford High, Card was only a sophomore when Buckley was first elected to his District 5 position. Buckley has since risen to be co-chairman of the Legislature's powerful Ways and Means Committee.
Card attended Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, Calif., where he earned his engineering degree. Decades younger than Buckley, Card cites his experience as a board member for the American Red Cross Southern Oregon chapter, work ethic and willingness to listen as assets for his campaign.
"I'm young, but I've got the energy and enthusiasm so I'm not going to stop wearing out the shoe leather because I'm out of breath from running down the street," Card said. "Peter Buckley is an experienced politician. He has money and he's been in this region for a long time.
"But what I bring to the table is the energy to listen and find solutions for problems in a way that will help get more jobs for our region and grow the local economy."
Buffy Pollock is a freelance writer living in Medford. E-mail her at email@example.com