GOLD BEACH — There's been a lot of chatter swirling behind how Curry County Commissioner David Brock Smith filed for the District 1 State Rep. position, but according to the state, it's more smoke than fire.
Fellow politicians and community members keyed on a 39-second differential in time stamps between Smith's filing for the representative position and the withdrawal of his candidacy to be re-elected as commissioner.
Under ORS 249.013, "a person may not file a nominating petition or declaration of candidacy for more than one lucrative office ... unless the person first files a written withdrawal, under ORS 249.170, of the person's initial filing."
But after investigating the matter, the Oregon Secretary of State's office has found no intention of wrongdoing.
"The candidate’s actions indicated an intent to abide by the law and take action to reconcile the apparent 'dual candidacies,'" Secretary of State chief of staff Laura Terrill said via email. "He filed his candidacy for the state office at the Capitol. He was not physically present at the county to withdraw his candidacy, he sent someone in with the paperwork in an apparent attempt to remain legally compliant."
According to candidacy documents, Smith electronically filed for the District 1 State Rep. position at 4:44 p.m. and 21 seconds on March 8 and withdrew his candidacy from the county commissioner's position seconds after at 4:45 p.m.
Under ORS 249.170, if a person files for more than one lucrative office position without submitting a withdrawal first, all filings by the person would be invalid.
But in this case, there's no way of knowing what came first.
"We have no way of knowing for certain that the apparent “39 second differential” between the candidate’s actions is completely accurate," Terrill said. "The date stamp from the county includes a hand-written time that may have come from someone’s watch or an in-house clock that may not have been accurate it may have been 'rounded up.'"
On the day prior to submitting his withdrawal paperwork, Smith was working late and knowing he would be in Salem the following day, he signed the form under oath in front of Curry County district attorney Everett Dial.
However, there was a mix-up in getting those turned in, which lead to the paperwork being submitted minutes before deadline.
With timing running out, Smith said he phoned Dial to turn in the withdrawal paperwork so he could file for the District 1 state representative position and waited for him to do so before he filed electronically.
"I took the SEL 150 to our district attorney's office, where he witnessed me signing it, and I asked him to file it for me," Smith said. "I called him up at 4:30 p.m. and told him I needed to get it in before I filed. I stayed on the phone the entire time."
State Rep. Wayne Krieger, R-Gold Beach, withdrew his candidacy the following day, leaving Smith and Terry Brayer as the only filed candidates for the position.
Smith said he was aware of Krieger's intention to resign before he submitted his candidate filing.