BEND, OR -- As campaigns head into the home stretch, one local race appears already decided. With only one person running for Deschutes County District Attorney, it seems Steve Gunnels will replace John Hummel as DA. Hummel says it means six months of training and transition before Gunnels takes over, "The last few transitions in the DA’s office, here in Deschutes County, hasve not been smooth. When Mike Dugan went out it was pretty contentious with his challenger, and when I came in it was a little contentious with the person I replaced. So, this is going to be smooth; it’s going to be done right."
Gunnels has been a prosecutor for 27 years, but Hummel says there are still lessons to be learned about leading the office, "The role is different as the head. You know, there’s budgeting and managing, and supervising and hiring, and coaching and disciplining; so all that. But we have six months to work on it, so there will be a smooth transition."
Hummel announced last year he would not seek re-election. He told KBND in a recent interview, "I just think, when you stay in office for 10-20 years, you actually start believing you’re the smartest person in the room when, of course, you're not. And you start thinking your way is the only way, and it’s not healthy. So, I decided I didn’t want to become that person."
Assuming Steve Gunnels wins on Tuesday, he’ll take over the office in January