Oregon voters gave us two terrific surprises on May 19. First, the primary election had a win for Shemia Fagan as the Democratic nominee for secretary of state. The talented state senator beat Mark Hass in a count so close that The Oregonian called it for Hass several times during the counting. That might have been wishful thinking. Both The Oregonian and Willamette Week heartily endorsed Hass. We endorsed Fagan and she did well in Lane County. Now she has to win in November. The other surprise was the win for the homeless services ballot measure in the Portland metro area. This will tax high earners and businesses for roughly $250 million a year for 10 years to finally put real resources into dealing with the homeless. A first in the country, this measure won by a whopping 60 percent. We’re watching to see how the money is spent and for ideas for Eugene. 

• Everyone’s looking for leadership in the midst of this pandemic. Which local figures are you looking to for inspiration and help? Who’s impressed you, now that the primary election is over? She’s appointed, not elected, but in a recent meeting with City Manager Pro Tem Sarah Medary, we found her thoughtful with good ideas — it will be interesting to see how she continues to deal with budget issues, homelessness and the aftermath of COVID-19. And we’re not alone. Mayor Lucy Vinis told Eugene Weekly on election night that she and the City Council are impressed with Medary, too. 

• Lane County is the middle of our Phase 1 reopening and some places are better than others about distancing and mask wearing. Guess what: Once upon a time, folks put “no shoes, no shirt, no service” in place and nobody in power thought their Constitutional rights were broken, and that actually did target people. In a 1972 column, a writer for the RG opined, “Hippies have taken over the north end of town and the business people don’t like it. They have signs saying shoes and shirts are required — no entrance to bare feet.” Asking you to wear a mask isn’t discrimination or a threat your rights. Facial coverings protect others from your cooties. Be nice. Keep your germs to yourself. And “thank you” to the customers wearing masks who have been helping the frontline workers in places like the grocery stores stay healthy. 

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is sending out letters asking for quick, big donations of $1,000 to $41,100, but it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that at least one of the letters to Eugene is mistakenly going to a “big government socialist” Democrat who would not give Trump a penny. No surprise either that the letter is full of lies about Trump’s accomplishments and the tragedy ahead if he loses. The operative words are “big government socialists,” “fake news media,” “great American comeback,” etc. That’s what lies ahead between now and Nov. 3. Brace yourself, big government socialists.