Dorran Faces Challenger in Race for Umatilla County Commissioner

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Umatilla County Commissioner Dan Dorran faces a challenge to his bid for reelection from Hermiston resident Alan M. Heel.

Dan Dorran
Alan Heel

Dorran is running for a second term for Position 3 on the Umatilla County Board of Commissioners. Before starting as commissioner in January 2021, Dorran worked as an executive for Atlas Copco, a manufacturing and engineering firm.

Heel, a self-employed owner-operator of a heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration business, joined the race in January. He has certifications in welding, electronics and stationary engineering, according to his campaign paperwork.

The county has cited Heel numerous times for violations on his property. The sheriff’s office on Dec. 15, 2023, arrested Heel for first- and third-degree criminal mischief (vandalism). He has raised issues with the citations he’s received and in 2023 in Umatilla County Circuit Court filed a suit against the county over the disputes.

Circuit Judge Robert Collins is presiding over the case, according to state court records. Heel on Feb. 26 filed a motion for a change of venue, arguing he could not get a fair trial from Collins. The county on March 20 filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Collins set a motions hearing for March 29.

The East Oregonian was not able to reach Heel for comment about the election.

Dorran said he’s following the plan he made in his first election.

“When I started and ran last time, I said I’d stay for two terms if I thought I was doing a good job and other folks thought I was doing a good job,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of people ask me to run again.”

Dorran said the county has a lot of projects in the works he is excited about, such as addressing the nitrate issues in the Lower Umatilla Basin Groundwater Management Area and supporting economic development across the county.

“I’d like to thank all of Umatilla County for letting me serve a term,” Dorran said, “and I look forward, if I’m so blessed, to serve them a second time.”

The primary election takes place May 21, with the general election on Nov. 5.

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