BEND, OR -- The race for Bend's House District 54 has a new entry. Amanda La Bell is the Founder and Director of The Rebecca Foundation.
She acknowledges that it might be confusing for some voters that she's running on the Working Families ticket, given that she's a Democrat. "It’s because the current Democrat nominee is not stepping aside even though he’s been pressured to and pretty much all support has been pulled from him. I supported that Democrat candidate, and I felt like I no longer had a place to put my vote." Democratic nominee Dr. Nathan Boddie is accused of groping a woman at a bar in 2012; allegations he has denied. She says, when the Working Families party approached her to run as their candidate, she agreed because she thought, otherwise, many Democrats would have no other choice, "I started in this race because I want to fight for housing, child care, for those families who are struggling to stay in Bend. Touching on those issues and working hard for them is what I plan on doing."
La Bell tells KBND News she recognizes her campaign is getting a late start, "I knew stepping into this was not going to be easy. I knew that it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park, but I’ve never taken a challenge and not run with it. I started a nonprofit from absolutely nothing: The Rebecca Foundation; we provide cloth diapers to lower income families across the United States. Today, we are in three countries with 150 chapters and 240 volunteers. So, obviously, hard work is not something I’m afraid of." She's lived in Bend just two years, but says she understands the needs of residents, "I try to do as much as I can to be a part of this community because it is my home. I don’t call any other place my home, but Bend is my home. And we moved here so that our kids would have a place to be, and grow up, and have great schools, and friends. So, here we are."
The District 54 seat is currently held by Republican Dr. Knute Buehler, who is running for Governor. La Bell is running against Republican nominee Cheri Helt, in November, and Nathan Boddie, assuming he does not drop out of the race before Friday evening's withdrawal deadline.