BEND, OR -- An Ashland man is ready to take on Republican Congressman Greg Walden, this fall. Democrat Jim Crary hopes to stop Walden from winning a ninth term in Oregon's Second District.
Crary retired from British Petroleum in 2013, and tells KBND News he'd like to be part of fixing several issues that face the state. "I don’t like to complain about something without trying to change it, that’s the big motivation. The other thing is, I just feel like Congress is not addressing the things it should be addressing. I feel like they’re like Nero, they’re fiddling while Rome is burning." Crary used to negotiate contracts for BP, so he says he's used to bridging differences.
He cites climate change and campaign finance reform as two of his top priorities. "On the climate change, what I would do is either cap and trade or a carbon tax. British Columbia has instituted a carbon tax very successfully, and the business community is in favor of it. We could do the same thing. It’s something that we need to do. I worked for BP – I worked for an oil company – and BP is actually in favor of a carbon tax."
Crary grew up in North Dakota and worked for many years in Alaska, where he ran for the State Legislature. This is his first run for office in Oregon. He moved to the state with his family 10 years ago. He knows he faces an uphill battle running against Oregon's only Republican member of Congress. He is also aware the Second District includes rural Eastern Oregon. Crary says the recent Harney County occupation disturbed him. "You know what, if somebody wants to protest, that is great; I’m all for it. But, when you protest with a weapon on your hip or in your arms, that’s pure intimidation and I do not agree with that in any way, shape or form. That’s pure intimidation and it really kind of makes me angry."
Crary was in Bend for a town hall at the downtown library, Wednesday evening.