Oregon's state house District 55 covers areas around La Pine and Prineville and has some of the state's poorest citizens and high unemployment rates. The region also lacks easy access to vocational training and college classes. The two candidates running in the District 55 race both support more opportunities for the underserved people who live in the more remote areas.
Democrat John Huddle of La Pine says he supports an expansion of OSU-Cascades to a four year University in Bend, but it shouldn't stop there.
"when you have high poverty and high unemployment as you do in the la pine area and north klamah and north lake areas- which is in the cocc's tax base- they really need a campus out there- you really need classes out there - these people get trapped - they really can't afford to drive back and forth to bend - and attempt to get the courses there- so they need more options- and i've said that being on the committee there to try and get them back out there,"
Huddle is running against incumbent Mike McLane of Powell Butte. Friday morning, October 26th, the two will debate on 1110 KBND radio. McLane says the central oregon delegation is working hard to make OSU-Cascades a top priority, because it will benefit everyone in the district. But, he also says more needs to be done to provide classes and training in the outlying areas.
"it would be beneficial to all of district 55 including la pine that that is located...and then the extension of some of hte cocc programs like we have in prineville - certainly should be extended to la pine and some of the other areas of the district."
The candidate debate starts shortly after 8:15a on Newstalk 1110 KBND. They will talk about the challenge of bringing doctors and medical services to rural and very remote areas, whether lawmakers should accept PERS, Land Use controversies surrounding farm lands, and what priorities they should focus on for District 55.