- Associated Press - Friday, October 3, 2014

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) - Friends of Jackson County Sheriff Mike Winters say his decision to drop out of the upcoming election was no surprise, given his poor performance in the primary.

County Commissioner Jack Rachor told The Mail Tribune (http://bit.ly/1oH3Vfd) Friday that Winters was probably worried about his chances in the November election, after getting just 30 percent of the vote in the primary.

Former sheriff and county commissioner C.W. Smith called Winters’ decision, “very wise.”

“I told Mike, the longer you’re in office, you can gradually accumulate people who don’t want you in office anymore,” Smith said.

Winters gave no specific reason for the move when he announced his retirement Thursday to television station KDRV (http://bit.ly/1BDJJRt).

The station reported that Winters has been heavily outspent in the campaign by Ashland police Deputy Chief Corey Falls, who got 46 percent of the primary vote, short of the majority needed to prevent a runoff.

County Clerk Chris Walker said Winters missed the window for removing candidates from the ballot, so his name will still be on mail ballots going out to voters. Walker added that removing his name from the ballot would have required a reason for doing so.

Winters is a former state trooper who was elected sheriff in 2002, and won a total of three four-year terms. His campaign had been low-key, with few signs posted around the county. He skipped a candidate forum in Ashland last month.

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Information from: Mail Tribune, http://www.mailtribune.com/

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