He kept everyone in suspense until nearly the last minute, but Alan DeBoer's decision not to seek re-election to the District 3 state Senate seat wasn't really a surprise.

DeBoer was elected in November 2016 to complete the term of Sen. Alan Bates, who died in August of that year. DeBoer had a long history of community involvement, including serving as a city councilor, as Ashland's mayor and eight years on the Ashland School Board. He also served on the board of the Mt. Ashland Association and the Rogue Valley Area Commission on Transportation.

Despite that resume and a reputation as a moderate, DeBoer barely won the seat, despite missteps by his Democratic opponent, who ran attack ads against DeBoer that generated criticism from across the political spectrum. DeBoer would have had to campaign hard to keep the seat this year. Democrats have a nearly 6,000-vote advantage in District 3, although a large percentage of unaffiliated and Independent Party voters makes the seat winnable by a Republican.

DeBoer also served in the minority party in a legislature where Democrats control both houses, setting the agenda and limiting the ability of Republicans to accomplish much. That has to be frustrating for a business executive accustomed to making decisions on his own. DeBoer's previous governmental experience also consisted of nonpartisan positions on local government bodies where elections can be won without raising large amounts of money.

The good news for voters is that there are plenty of other candidates eager to serve.