BEND, OR -- A local business owner and school board member is running for Oregon House District 54. Cheri Helt announced Tuesday on Facebook that she plans to seek the Republican nomination for the seat currently held by Bend State Representative and Gubernatorial candidate Knute Buehler.
Helt has served on the Bend-La Pine School Board since 2010. She says she's worked with underfunded budgets, and believes schools will perform better with a change in state leadership and full funding. "I campaigned for Measure 98 and it passed with over 60% vote of the people of the state of Oregon. That was funded at 50%. I don't believe that's what the people wanted; it should've been fully funded, and career and technical education matters to kids. That's one of the things that we can use to move the needle on our graduation rates as a state. But, we can't do it if we're only going to invest half of what the people ask us to invest."
She tells KBND News she also wants to focus on helping Bend meet the challenges of its growth, "Bend is a very unique community, and it requires a unique voice, and I believe, after representing it for eight years as a school board member, that I understand our community well, and that I would represent its unique voice well."
Helt expects to formally launch her campaign at the end of February. She and her husband own Zydeco Kitchen & Cocktails and Bistro 28 in Bend.