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SUNRIVER, OR -- Eight people all hoping to take on Congressman Greg Walden in the fall, met in a public forum, Saturday, in Sunriver. The six Democrats, one Libertarian and an Independent took turns sharing their platforms at the event hosted by the Staying Connected Sunriver Action Group.

 

The Candidates have their differences, but they all agree that U.S. House District Two needs a change, and they believe Representative Greg Walden is vulnerable. Jim Crary, a veteran and avid hunter from the Ashland area who unsuccessfully ran against Walden in 2016, thinks the end of Walden's congressional career is finally imminent, "I think he thinks, 'I'm invulnerable; I can do whatever I want and I'm not going to suffer the consequences.' The difference between the other times he ran and now is people are paying attention."

 

Hood River resident Eric Burnette wants to re-unionize the work force. He says people are disappointed in Walden, "He ceased to represent the people of his district. You hear this from really progressive people, the whole 'where's Walden?' thing. When I go out and talk to people who are in business, and on the ag side, they kind of quietly say the same thing, 'We don't see much of Greg anymore'."
 
Michael Byrne is a cowboy and former Mt. Hood Rescue volunteer from The Dalles. He tells KBND News he doesn't appreciate how Walden mistreats Health Care. "There's the Children's health care program that was just ridiculously tossed around like a political football, that [ticks] me off. He says he's the hero; that was his big deal: He's the champion. Greg Walden is a liar, I'm gonna tell you that."
 
Dr. Jenni Neahring (pictured above), a palliative care physician, says the healthcare issue is what got her into the race, and she thinks things can change, "It's time for us to look around and see how much engagement there is, and how much desire there is to fix these problems, and know that there is hope for a much better future." Tim White, retired from Fiat-Chrysler, says there's too much poverty in Oregon and Greg Walden perpetuates a separation of the classes by not giving ranchers, farmers, and small business owners the support they need, "'Your way of life is to be poor' and do you think that's fair? Do You think that's what the people of the Second District want? Do You think you want to just accept having to struggle every day for a living? Greg seems to think that's okay with them."
 
Libertarian banker and businessman Decker Cleveland says he's concerned most about the debt. "We're currently paying 300 billion in interest alone, and it'll soon be 600 hundred billion, and soon, it'll be a trillion." Republican-turned-Independent Mark Roberts says there's no reason we shouldn't have it all, here in Oregon, "Prosperity: That's what we have here in Oregon. We have resources, they need to be utilized."
 
Jamie McLeod-Skinner, of Terrebonne, says big changes need to come from the top. "The Federal Government needs to develop good partnerships with the state and local governments to be successful in getting the job done."

 

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