What People Say About Bob

  1. Endorsements
    1. Pam Marsh, former Ashland City Councilor, current State Rep., OR House District 5
    2. Eddy Arriola, Board Chair, Inter-American Foundation, Washington, D.C.
    3. Stefani Seffinger, Ashland City Councilor (2014-2022)
    4. Richard Simonds, Ashland resident
    5. Carole Florian, Ashland resident
    6. Karen Smith, Ashland resident
    7. Bret Anderson, SOU Professor of Economics
    8. Barret O’Brien, Actor, Filmmaker, and Professor, Southern Oregon University
    9. Dennis Slattery, former Ashland City Councilor
    10. Aura Johnson, Ashland resident
    11. Rosemary Forester, Ashland resident
    12. Elisabeth Zinser, retired university president, Ashland community volunteer
    13. Ellie Holty, Ashland resident
    14. Lorrie Kaplan, Ashland resident — and Bob’s wife
    15. Laura Paxson, Ashland resident, longtime friend, and former Peace Corp-Paraguay colleague
    16. Rich Rohde, Ashland resident
  2. Organizational Endorsements
  3. Supporters


Pam Marsh, former Ashland City Councilor, current
State Rep.,
OR House District 5

“I’ve worked with Bob on issues such as affordable housing, the unhoused, climate change, and equity. His finance skills and command of the challenges facing Ashland will enable Bob to find solutions that unify — exactly what we need right now.” Read Marsh’s October 11 statement of endorsement for Bob.

Eddy Arriola, Board Chair, Inter-American Foundation, Washington, D.C.

“Bob served over six years as President and CEO of the Inter-American Foundation, an independent agency of the federal government. He was an exceptional leader, notable for his commitment to empowering and connecting community organizations throughout Latin America, his knowledge of the region and the practice of community development, and his ability to work well with everyone.”

Stefani Seffinger, Ashland City Councilor (2014-2022)

Bob and I spent eight hours in a van together in 2020 traveling to Samoa, California to tour the Materials Recovery Facility where Recology and Rogue Disposal haul our recyclables for processing. That’s the sort of commitment Bob makes to understand the underlying dynamics of challenges we face as a community. We learned a lot at the facility and took advantage of the long drive to get to know each other. I appreciate Bob’s passion for figuring out how things work, his positivity and sense of humor, his thoughtful and balanced approach, and his ability to listen to really hear and understand. That’s why I am supporting Bob Kaplan for City Council.

Richard Simonds,
Ashland resident

Why I am voting for Bob Kaplan for Ashland City Council Position 4: Bob brings something to the council that is rare for candidates: He has experience working with many municipal organizations in HOW to make a difference and achieve mutually agreed upon core values and goals.

Mostly candidates come with their agenda of WHAT they want to do. Bob has a very strong commitment to getting councilors to focus on what they share in common and HOW to use that to build trust so that when they work on the areas where they have differences in WHAT to do they have a basis to work on achieving core values and goals for the good of Ashland. VERY IMPORTANT to do when councilors have significantly different ideas about WHAT to do and a commitment to fiercely defending their agenda!”

Carole Florian,
Ashland resident

I first met Bob Kaplan because both of us volunteer for the same arts organization in Ashland. As I’ve gotten to know him better, I’ve become increasingly impressed by his thoughtful response to whatever the subject at hand might be.

He’s made his positions very clear and voters either will or will not agree with them. But to know him personally is to know he approaches issues with a level of intellectual rigor that convinces me he would give any matter before him the most careful consideration. He actively listens, is collaborative, and brings his whole heart and mind to whatever is before him.

“That he also has so much public service experience that can — directly or indirectly — inform his decision making is just the proverbial icing on the cake. He most definitely deserves your vote.

Karen Smith,
Ashland resident

“I am very pleased and delighted that Bob Kaplan is willing to serve our town was a member of the City Council, Position 4. 

“Bob is a calm, thorough man who has deep experience in helping municipalities solve problems with results that last. He is an excellent listener and problem solver and has had a career that required collaboration among differing points of view. These are qualities we need in our city government! 

“Ashland will be better off with Bob on the City Council and I urge you to vote for him.”

Bret Anderson, SOU Professor of Economics

“Bob Kaplan is a natural leader. Electing Bob will not only mean progress now, but it has the potential to usher in a whole new era of local governance by setting the bar very high for those that follow.”

Barret O’Brien, Actor, Filmmaker,
and Professor, Southern Oregon University

“City councils require very specific members to thrive. They call for people who balance integrity, modesty, patience, and open-mindedness with an inherent belief that small, local changes have large, far-reaching impacts. I can say unreservedly that Bob Kaplan embodies these qualities. Not just in his public work (which stretches from the halls of Washington DC to the irrigation canals of Paraguay), but in all that he does: how he hand-presses heirloom pasta, how he logs in thousands of miles bicycle commuting, how he fathers. Please join me in voting for Bob this November.”

Dennis Slattery, former Ashland City Councilor

“It gives me a great deal of pleasure to endorse my friend Bob Kaplan for city council. I have known Bob since he arrived in Ashland and right from the start Bob was looking for where he could add value to our community. I am proud it was the council I was on that elected him to the Ashland Budget Committee and we have had many conversations about the city’s financial challenges.

He is always prepared and does his homework, and more. Not only does he come with a strong working knowledge of the business at hand, but also with ideas and suggestions on how to work forward and how to make improvement. I have also worked with him on the board of OHRA (Options for Helping Residents of Ashland), his dedication and work ethic to help those less fortunate and most vulnerable is impressive and outstanding.

“Bob will make an excellent city councilor. A councilor who will listen to all sides, be collaborative with other stakeholders, and provide a mature and responsive voice for the citizens of Ashland.  Please join me in voting for Bob Kaplan for Ashland City Council.

Aura Johnson,
Ashland resident

Bob Kaplan has impressed me on a variety of levels.

I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with him doing volunteer work, and this is what I have learned about his character: He is always curious to learn more, he maintains a positive attitude even when tensions run high, he is willing to speak up for the underdog and to find value in a variety of perspectives. I have seen first-hand his dedication to the truth, the environment, civic duty and fairness. He comes with impressive credentials as well, having a background in both finance and humanitarian work.

“Bob is the real deal, and Ashland would be fortunate to have his even-keeled, good-natured, logical and positive voice on the council.”

Rosemary Forester,
Ashland resident

“Bob Kaplan – finance skills, a talented negotiator and a highly energetic results-
oriented community leader.

“We in Ashland are so lucky that Bob Kaplan is running for City Council Position # 4 for we need, in today’s rapidly changing world, a ‘breath of fresh air’. . .

“Somebody who has spent his professional life working to help communities
grow and thrive. Somebody who is experienced in directing public finance to
meet local needs. Somebody who is a curious and energetic results-oriented
unifier. We need a leader who ups the game whenever he’s in the room. Bob fits the bill ! I think that is rather amazing.
Bob is a natural leader. He has a fun website and his Endorsements are
particularly interesting: BobKforAshland.com.
I hope you join me in voting for Bob Kaplan.

Elisabeth Zinser, retired university president, Ashland community volunteer

“The combination of attributes and experiences Bob brings to the race doesn’t come along often. And, we need him now.” Read Elisabeth’s full statement of endorsement here.

Ellie Holty, Ashland resident

“Bob is a committed teammate and a great collaborator. He ups the game whenever he’s in the room. I worked with Bob in connection with the Local Innovation Lab, an SOU internship program that connected students with great leaders and impactful projects in the community.  He volunteered to work with students over several terms researching community land trusts. His was the team I always knew was completely handled and on track. I knew hed be available, curious, patient, kind, clarifying, ethical, positive, and brilliant. And he came to every student presentation and team meeting.”

Lorrie Kaplan, Ashland resident — and Bob’s wife

“Ive known Bob since 1981. Through our time together in the Peace Corps in Paraguay, to raising our children, to working through the demands of a two-career family, Bob continues to amaze me. He’s incredibly kind, energetic, curious, public-spirited, well-rounded and compassionate. He is always listening, learning, taking in new information, and looking for the shared goals that will lead to collaboration and results. His experience and joy in public service will make him a very effective member of the City Council.”

Laura Paxson,
Ashland resident, longtime friend, and former Peace Corp-Paraguay colleague

I have known Bob Kaplan (and his wife, Lorrie) for thirty-seven years since meeting them in the Peace Corps in South America. From ensuring a potable water source in rural Paraguay to his work at the Inter-American Development Bank, Bob has devoted his life to public service. He has traveled extensively and understands problems from both a global and local perspective.

Bob and Lorrie continue putting their “volunteer spirit” to work in Ashland where Bob serves on the boards of Options for Helping Residents of Ashland and the Ashland Food Co-op. He already sits on the City of Ashland’s Citizens’ Budget Committee and is ready to tackle our city’s issues.

Bob has the ability to dig deep into the details of public policy and pull together all concerned constituents in a respectful manner. I have watched him do this on more than one occasion. He is an amazing listener, a consensus builder, endlessly optimistic, and the perfect person to join the Council in these fractious times. Join me and vote to elect Bob Kaplan for City Council, position 4.

Rich Rohde,
Ashland resident

For all of us who are looking for respectful collaboration in council decisions I recommend and support Bob Kaplan.

I have been very impressed with Bob’s commitment to walking our neighborhoods talking door to door, listening to folks and sharing his own ideas. I really appreciate his long background in nonprofit work for communal benefits for all.

And most importantly to me, he has a built-in dedication to collaboration in decision-making. I know he will be both an independent thinker and a cooperative, respectful member of our council.”

Organizational Endorsements

 “Ashland Firefighters PAC has been impressed with the depth and breadth of Bob’s experience. He takes fire protection seriously, and his energy is hard to match!” 


Nancy Appling
Jackie Bachman
Richard Barth
Shaktari Belew
Anne Bellegia
Amy Blossom
Risa Buck
Barbara Cervone
JoAnne Eggers
Leslie Eldridge
Carole Florian

Rev. Dan Fowler
Flavia Franco
Stephen Gagne
Brad Galusha
Gary Greksouk
Aura Johnson
Rebecca Kay
Peter Krasilovsky
Sharon and Ed Laskos
Ray Mallette
Sharon Marseglia

Ted Michel
Bob Morse
Jerry Nitzberg
Deb Price
Ben Scott
Vanessa Scott
Sandra and Dennis Slattery
Karen Smith
Patricia Smith
Dan and Joan Thorndike
Vince and Patty Wixon