UMATILLA COUNTY — The race for the open seat on Umatilla County's Board of Commissioners is going to be a handful.

HollyJo Beers of Milton-Freewater filed for commissioner Monday and joined the race against a quartet of candidates from Hermiston in Patricia Maier, Dan Dorran, Mark Gomolski and Jonathan Lopez.

Beers — who serves as the county lead of the Oregon III%, a militia group that advocates for Second Amendment rights — unofficially announced herself as a candidate at Pendleton City Council meeting last November but held off on submitting her paperwork until this week. 

According to her paperwork, Beers is currently a canvasser for Freedom Foundation, a conservative think tank based in Oregon, Washington, California and Ohio that focuses on battling the influence of labor unions in state and local governments.

Beers' filing says she graduated from Pilot Rock High School, has attended Blue Mountain Community College, and earned a B.S. from Eastern Oregon University.

According to her filing, Beers' background includes working as a Umatilla County deputy clerk, reserve police officer, and for the Federal Highway Administration and Oregon Department of Transportation.

Current Umatilla County Commissioner Bill Elfering announced last year that he won't be running for re-election.

Candidates filing for the commissioner's race have until March 10 to submit their paperwork for the May 19 primary. The top two candidates in the primary will advance to a runoff in November.

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