BEND, OR -- With Victor Chudowsky not seeking reelection, two candidates are vying for his Bend City Council seat, in November. Justin Livingston and Ron Boozell both attended a Bend Chamber of Commerce election "mixer" at Deschutes Brewery, Tuesday night.
Livingston is a real estate broker who is unapologetic about accepting campaign money from realtor and Chamber political action committees. "My approach is to donations - whether it's from a large PAC or from individuals - is that I have a core set of beliefs. If those align with you, feel free to support me. But, if they don't, look at my opponent." Livingston tells KBND News, "I have a core set of beliefs that I'm not going to vary from." This is Livingston's first run for public office; although, he has served on several city committees. "I just sort of felt I wasn't always being heard, and I think I have a good voice and am fairly in touch with the general population - especially being from the east side and having served on a neighborhood association on the east side - I think I've got an idea of what the people are looking for in their city government; and I wasn't seeing it."
Boozell, also known as "Rondo," has run for Council three times in the past six years. "I find myself now, running against a real estate Republican and in this particular time I'm nonpartisan. I think I represent a larger group of people; a larger amount of interests." He adds, "My biggest issues are prosperity for all. I like to tell people that I am working for real people not real estate. I think we need something more on City Council than somebody with a daily mindset that has real estate mogul dreams." Boozell feels another big issue is managing smart growth in Bend.