POLK COUNTY -- Two Republican candidates are running for the position of State Representative House District-20.

Incumbent Democrat Paul Evans is running unopposed.

Selma Pierce, 65, West Salem

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Current employment:

Retired dentist

Community Volunteer: Medical Teams International Dental Van dentist (2009-2017); Marion Polk Dental Society, Polk County Rep (2010-current); Mission of Mercy (Salem) Free Dental Clinic Coordinator (2013-2014); Mission of Mercy (Portland) Free Dental Clinic volunteer (2011, 2013, 2015); Marion Polk Dental Day Free Dental Clinic Coordinator (2012-2013); North Salem High School Math Tutor (2011-2013); Salem Area Chamber of Commerce Board (2011-2017); Inspire Foundation Board (2016-current); Salem-Keizer Dental Health Solutions Volunteer Coordinator (2011-2015); Salem Leadership Foundation Advisory Board (2016-current); Mayor’s International Council (2014-2016); Travel Salem Board of Directors (2014-2016); Oregon Community Foundation Leadership Council (2011-2017); Oregon Community Foundation Grant Evaluator (2014-current); Assistance League of Salem-Keizer (2006-current); First Christian Church deacon; Salem Leadership Foundation Board of Directors (2019—current); North Salem ASPIRE Mentor (2019-current); Downtown Salem Rotary (2019-current).

Education:

Washington High School, diploma (1972); University of California, Berkeley (1976), Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry; University of California, Los Angeles (1980) DDS-Doctor of Dental Surgery.

Position sought:

State Representative House District 20

Previous government service:

Chemeketa Foundation Board of Directors, 2013-current; OHSU Foundation Board of Trustees, 2015-current; Oregon Tech/Chemeketa Dental Hygiene Program Advisory Board (2011-2013, 2020-current); Legislative Aide - Sen. Jackie Winters (Senate District 10).

Campaign phone number:

503-308-1385

Campaign website:

How long have you lived in the area you will represent:

26 years

Why are you running for office?

A legislator is at the Capitol to be an advocate or point person for her constituents. In these COVID-19 times when our society was upended overnight, it is even more important to have someone representing the people who puts citizens first. I am that person. I’m not there to bring personal glory to myself or to have a stepping stone to a higher office. I will be there to ensure that the people of HD 20 are fully represented, that their interests are at the forefront and not disregarded.

What are the critical issues facing your district? How would you address them if elected?

Small Business

After the coronavirus subsides, there is much work to be done in HD 20 to rebuild and further our communities.  48 percent of local employees work for small businesses.  The shutdown hurt many of those small businesses that provide local jobs.  These businesses need to be supported to regain their footing, and new businesses should be encouraged to start up and grow locally.  Rules and regulations need to be eased and streamlined, expenses and fees reduced.  We cannot lose the backbone of our communities that these small businesses provide.

Education & Training

Our K-12 students by summer would have missed 12-13 weeks of school, or 1/3 of the 2019-2020 school year.  Innovative techniques using modern technology involving are needed to bring K-12 education into the modern era.  Students need to be challenged and stretched to achieve their maximum potential.  CTE courses that teach students real work skills need to be enhanced and available to all students.  We need to support and strengthen our local university (WOU) and college (Chemeketa Community College) so they can be as strong and valuable community assets as possible.

Third Bridge/infrastructure

To encourage and manage the projected 35 percent growth or 60,000-100,000 more people in our Mid-Willamette Valley area, work on major infrastructure needs be continuous.  The third bridge across the Willamette River needs to commence now, not after the projected growth and gridlock has already occurred.  Also infrastructure concerns include other transportation modes, water and waste management, and energy and technology updates to ensure a smooth flow of goods, ideas, services, information, and people.

Homelessness

The homeless issue was swept aside during the coronavirus shutdown, but it is still there.  Citizens experiencing homelessness need to be assisted and directed so that they may regain their purpose and be as productive as they can be for their own personal dignity.

Cost of living

The coronavirus shutdown has really affected many people living in HD 20.  The financial rug was literally pulled out from under many of our families overnight. As everyone works to get back on track, we legislators need to be mindful of the taxes that are asked of our citizens and that none of our citizens’ precious hard-earned dollars are wasted.

What experience do you believe you would bring to this office that would benefit your constituents?

I have a real connection to the people of my community.  I’ve been closely involved with the community, getting down in the trenches and working with people and organizations that make the community work and work better.  Our family is a small business family. It’s a constant balance of keeping customers happy and satisfied, dealing with rules and regulations, making room for improvements and innovation, and developing strong employee teams while staying financially solvent.

I coordinated and ran the 2014 Mission of Mercy Free Dental Clinic held at Chemeketa Community College that treated 1,255 patients with 6,533 needed dental procedures, with 998 volunteers.  While volunteering at a local high school as a math tutor and ASPIRE mentor, I saw first-hand the needs of our students.  I work with organizations such as Salem Leadership Foundation, Center for Hope and Safety, Liberty House, and Family Building Blocks in supporting the most vulnerable in our communities.  I have seen first-hand the issues involved in people who are experiencing homelessness by working at the Homeless Community Connect and Medical Teams International Dental Van, staffing the Family Promise and Church at the Park overnight homeless shelters, and participating in the Point-In-Time Homeless Count.

I serve on the Board of Directors for the Chemeketa Community College Foundation and the Board of Trustees of the OHSU Foundation.  As I am a beneficiary of excellent education, I understand the tremendous value of strong educational organizations in helping students get great education and training that will benefit not only themselves, their families, but also our communities.

Anything else you wish to note about the position you are seeking?

House District 20 is a microcosm of Oregon.  We have urban, suburban, small town, and rural areas, yet we all work together to make our area great.  When in office, I will examine and create legislation that will serve all the people of HD 20.  If it hurts our area, I will not be in support of it; if it helps our area, I will be for it.  I am here to serve the people of HD 20 with practical, common sense, and fiscally sound solutions.

Kevin S. Chambers, 29, of West Salem

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Current employment:

Drilling Operations Manager (1 year), Business owner (3 years)

Education:

Western Mennonite School – High School Diploma | Western Oregon University – Earth Science

Position sought:

State Representative, Oregon House District 20

Previous government service:

Polk County Republican Chair 2018 – 2019; West Salem Neighborhood Association Chair 2019 - Present; Board of Commissioners Polk County Housing Authority; Oregon Water Resource Department Rules and Advisor Committee 2019

Campaign phone number:

(503) 586 - 8188

Campaign website:

How long have you lived in the area you will represent:

28 years

Why are you running for office:

Oregonians are hurting; businesses were hurting long before COVID-19; our current representative doesn’t listen to the will of his constituents; we’ve seen what a tyrannical super majority has done. We need someone who understands the problems our district faces, and gets things done. I’m running to fight for everyone in this district, not just special interests.

What are the critical issues facing your district and how would you address them if elected?

We need at least one more bridge in West Salem. We need to return freedoms, and liberties to people. We need to address our homeless crisis. We need to limit government. We need to rollback regulation that are hurting our citizens. We need balance in this state. We need leaders who are present.

What experience do you believe you would bring to the office that would benefit your constituents?

Since 2018: I was elected to chair Polk County Republicans, where we took major steps forward to ensure Polk County remains 2nd Amendment friendly, setting up the opportunity to become a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary County. We helped pass the Safety Levy, while reducing the overall cost to residents; we helped elect in landslide victories for Salem-Keizer Schoolboard Republican Candidates.

I served on the Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, where we oversaw the implementation of new policies and practices after the HA failed its audit. Ensuring responsible use of taxpayer dollars.

I was elected as West Salem Neighborhood Association Chair, where we took quick effective measures to ensure the City of Salem did not designate our parks as homeless camps. We immediately took action to begin moving forward with a new bridge. We began engaging with the city on expanding emergency resources in West Salem in case of a Cascadia Earthquake.

Anything else you wish to not about the position you are seeking?

At the end of the day, please ask yourself, which candidate has done more for their community since 2018, which candidate has been more active in promoting republican values.

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