In the race for position one for Umatilla County Commissioner, incumbent George Murdock faces a challenge by former Umatilla County employee Rick Pullen. Both Murdock and Pullen posses amazing resumes of public service.
Murdock has a lengthy history of public service. He worked as the Superintendent for Douglas Education Service District; Editor & Publisher of the East Oregonian, Superintendent for Umatilla-Morrow Education Service District; Superintendent for Pasco School District; Deputy Superintendent for Walla Walla School District; and, worked as a cattle rancher. Murdock is seeking his second term as Umatilla County Commissioner.
Pullen is an Army veteran, who served as an Army Combat Medical Specialist. In December 2017, he ended a fourteen year career with Umatilla County government. He has also worked in retail management and construction. Pullen has never been elected to public office and says he is “not a politician or smooth talker.” Pullen says his family’s presence in Umatilla County dates back “almost a century.”
Regardless of which candidate is elected, Umatilla County will be served well. However, our pick for this race is Rick Pullen because he is a “straight shooter” with proven experience in county management. During his tenure with Umatilla County, he championed efforts to bring the County’s Taxation & Assessment office into the digital age. In doing so, Pullen improved the efficiency of county government. He also has extensive experience in emergency preparedness and planning.
Pullen has campaigned on the promise of making Umatilla County work for all of it’s people — not just those at the top. As Commissioner, he will take a decade of experience in county management to work for residents of Umatilla County. “I will do everything in my power to see it grow and to see ALL our communities, big and small prosper,” Pullen said. In comparison, while Murdock has experience in public service, his county management experience is limited to his four years as County Commissioner.
Pullen’s campaign message has resonated with people outside of the Pendleton & Hermiston metros. We are refreshed to see him address the proverbial “elephant in the room.” “I want my kids to be able to enjoy this incredible county and have successful careers right here at home. I don’t want them to have to move away to get jobs that can support their households,” Pullen said in a statement printed in the Official Voters’ Pamphlet.
We also believe that Pullen’s fourteen years working for Umatilla County give him special insight into how the inner mechanisms of county government work. It positions him with a distinct ability to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of local government. The Murdock campaign asserts that voters want (and need) continuity of leadership. We agree! Pullen’s nearly two-decades in county government makes him the most qualified and experienced to lead Umatilla county forward.
Learn more about Rick Pullen’s campaign via their Facebook page.