BEND, OR -- A $2,000 campaign contribution is stirring up controversy in the race for Deschutes County Commissioner. Incumbent Tony DeBone recently received the donation from his challenger's ex-husband, a man convicted of domestic violence in 2016. DeBone tells KBND News, "I was informed that it was from Peter Lowes, knowing that it was the ex-spouse of my challenger; and I thought it was interesting, but didn't think too much into it. He's a business owner in our community and he probably had a political interest." DeBone says he was made aware of the conviction when he received a call from Oregon Public Broadcasting, "I don't support abuse of any kind, so that is my position and the money was returned that afternoon."
Amy Lowes tells KBND News DeBone should have know about her ex-husband's conviction, "While I don't know for certain whether Tony knew about it, I find it incredibly difficult to believe that he did not." She believes the money represents more than political support, "Having never been a survivor of abuse, I think it's really difficult to understand exactly what this means. It might just seem like a simple, political donation to my opponent. But, but it's so much more than that to me." She adds, "This isn't about politically supporting somebody, this is about trying to continue to exert control, and that's something that I would want Mr. DeBone to try to understand." She believes the money would've done more good had DeBone donated it to Saving Grace, rather than returning it to her abuser.
DeBone says, "It would be speculation on my part to try to read into that situation, and obviously I haven't been in that situation, and I wish her the best."
Photo: Peter Lowes booking photo, July 2016, courtesy Deschutes Co. Jail