AROCK – Arock can be a hard place to reach, but recently it was the key destination for Oregon gubernatorial candidate Christine Drazan.
Drazan’s trip to Arock on Aug. 15 came out of the blue three weeks ago, according to organizer Elias Eiguren, a Jordan Valley rancher.
“Folks from her campaign reached out to me and wanted to do an event in the area,” said Eiguren.
Drazan, a Republican, served as a state representative from 2019 to 2022 and is facing nonpartisan Betsy Johnson and Democrat Tina Kotek in the general election in November.
Drazan served as the House minority leader from 2019 to 2021.
Eiguren, a lifelong Jordan Valley area resident, said he could not recall a gubernatorial candidate ever visiting Jordan Valley, much less Arock.
“It’s a first for sure. Folks usually go straight from Burns over to Ontario,” said Eiguren.
Arock is an unincorporated community about 120 miles from Ontario, six miles off U.S. 95. The community features a school with roughly a dozen students and a post office.
Drazan said in an interview that her stop at Arock represented what running for governor is all about.
“It’s about hearing from people and what their experience is now and what needs to change,” said Drazan.
Drazan and her campaign crew toured Arock then held a meet-and-greet at the Arock Community Center Gym.
Eiguren said about 40 people showed up at the gym.
“I answered questions and did a lot of listening,” said Drazan.
Eiguren said he believed people who attended were “pleased to meet up with her.”
“I think a lot of folks have questions just because of the dynamic of the race for governor, especially with an independent card in the mix. People are trying to decide how vote,” he said.
Drazan, who said she does not have a campaign manager in Arock, believes an individual vote in the 2022 election is more crucial than in the past.
“This is an important election and I want to remind Oregon voters across the state that their votes count and matter,” said Drazan.
Eiguren said residents were especially concerned about the amount of traffic on the state highway “and the fatalities we’ve seen in the last few years. We seem to average about a fatality a month.”
Drazan said she heard the concerns about other issues too – such as grasshopper infestation and availability of water.
“I am grateful they were willing to have a conversation with me,” said Drazan.
Drazan said the visit to Arock is part of her broader view that she will be the governor for the whole state, not just one region.
“We are in August and it was the right time to visit Arock. It was worth doing and I would do it again,” said Drazan.
News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected].
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