BEND, OR -- On the heels of Victor Chudowsky’s announcement that he will not seek reelection to the Bend City Council, a local businessman says he will run for the seat. Justin Livingston has lived in Bend for 16 years and says the city continues to face challenges. "My wife has been a longtime Bend resident, since the late 70s; and she ended up, after graduating high school in the late 80s, had to move away from Bend. And, I just don’t want that to be the situation, where my kids have to move away from Bend to start their lives."
The 38-year-old is a partner in the Genesis Construction Group and was one of three members of the Street Funding Committee that urged the Council not to pursue a gas tax. Livingston tells KBND News there's a lot of frustration with the current City Council. "Particularly the gas tax, obviously that’s the most glaring one. But, it isn’t just the most recent Council, it’s been a lot of decisions over the years. Whether it’s the Bulletin site, or Juniper Ridge, or other big-ticket items that have cost the city a lot of money. And, I think it’s time for the city to get back down to its core things that it does, and does right and does good."
Livingston admits his policies mirror Chudowsky's, "Obviously, Victor is a brilliant policy maker, and a brilliant mind, and those will be very large shoes to fill. But, I would say that Victor and I – we do align, not on everything, but we do align on a lot of the issues, particularly fiscal issues." Candidates can’t officially file until June first, for the November election, but Livingston says he wanted residents to know that he’s involved. "I have been involved in a lot of different aspects, whether that was the Street Funding Committee, I currently sit on the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, I’m a board member and newest Chair for the Old Farm Neighborhood Association. So, I’ve been involved quite a bit the last number of years, and I still continue to plan on being involved in those items up until the election."