Kelly Ducote, The Observer

In an email statement Wednesday morning, Greg Barreto announced he has returned a $30,000 donation from Loren Parks.

Parks, a Nevada businessman, contributed the money in March to Barreto's campaign for District 58 representative in the Oregon House.

"My opponent has made an issue of that contribution thus taking attention away from real election position issues between candidates. I'm not going to allow that to happen," Barreto said in the emailed news release.

The email goes on to say that Barreto has returned the donation and thanked Parks.

Barreto faces John Turner, of Pendleton, in the Republican primary for the seat that will be vacated upon Rep. Bob Jenson's retirement.

Barreto, a La Grande businessman and owner of Barreto Manufacturing, had previously told The Observer that the $30,000 donation came "with no strings attached."

Today's announcement precedes a Union County Republican Candidate Forum that starts at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the Homestead Country Gathering Building. Barreto, Turner and other primary candidates are slated to attend.