BEND, OR -- The Independent Pary candidate for Governor says he's the only one talking about campaign finance reform. Yet, he believes it should be at the top of the priority list, "Because the big money is wagging the dog," says Patrick Starnes, "So first you have to get the big money out of politics, and then we can do a lot of these other reforms, like education and tax reform." He brought his campaign to Bend, this week, to talk about why he's the best person for the top job.
Starnes was elected twice to the Douglas Education Service District and once to the McKenzie School Board. He believes school board experience should be mandatory for anyone running for Governor, "I have a deep love for education. and not just k-12, job training also needs to be a big component of our education so, and we need to train folks, because only 12% of high school students go on to college, so that's a lot of people that need job training." He says his 30-year career as a cabinet-maker also give him a unique perspective, "I feel like my blue collar work experience and my school board experience is deeper than a lifetime politician or a rookie legislator." Starnes tells KBND News the state isn't doing enough with wood products, and should build more finished wood products in state, which will boost the economy and help small, local businesses.
As the Independent Party nominee, Starnes says he doesn't have the political machines of Governor Kate Brown and Representative Knute Buehler (R-Bend), so he's taking his message to the streets, "I'm sure there are a lot of people who aren't happy with Brown, of course, and then there are a lot of folks who aren't happy with Buehler and his work here in Bend, so we're hoping for that largest third across the state, and we are traveling to every county, and all five districts, congressional districts, and we're not just focusing on Portland, and Eugene, and the Willamette Valley."
According to Starnes, 38% of Oregon voters don't consider themselves members of either of the two major parties, which leads him to conclude the Governor's race will be decided by the disillusioned.
For more coverage of the November mid-terms, visit our Elections 2018 page.