(Photo | Courtesy of Cheri Helt)
Earlier this week, Representative Cheri Helt (R-Bend) sent out an email announcing that she has officially filed for re-election. So far, she has raised $124,000 since the beginning of July, and starting this week, her campaign has begun releasing a series of endorsements via social media from local democrats, republicans and independents.
Here is Helt’s statement:
Today I officially filed for re-election to represent the people of Bend in the Oregon House.
As a working mom, small business owner and former member of the Bend La-Pine School Board, I understand what makes Bend unique and would be honored to continue representing you as your State Representative. When I ran for the legislature, I promised to be an inclusive and independent voice for Bend. To lead with moderation and to put progress ahead of partisan politics. To be fiscally responsible, socially inclusive, environmentally conscious and politically independent. I believe I have kept that promise — working across party lines, rejecting rigid right-left extremes and working hard for positive change.
Housing — As a longtime Bend resident, I know that access to affordable housing is now a crisis in our community. It’s why I supported two new laws to increase housing supply and choices and drive down costs. I wrote and passed a law that will encourage and allow more mixed-used affordable housing inside Bend, especially near public transit. I also broke with many in my party to support allowing multi-family housing choices, like duplexes and cottage-cluster housing in single-family neighborhoods.
Family Leave — As a working mom and restaurant co-worker, I understand the first-hand challenges for working families. It’s why I joined with democrats and republicans to pass a new paid family leave law giving 12 weeks paid time off to new parents, those who are sick or caring for a family member and to victims of domestic violence. Lower-income workers will receive 100 percent of their wages during time off. I’m proud to support families in their time of need.
Gun Safety — As someone who cares about public safety, particularly in our schools, I broke with most in my party to support a new law to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and stalkers. I will continue to champion stronger gun safety laws such as expanded background checks.
Education — As a longtime advocate for public schools, I was proud to support a 10 percent increase in funding for public schools — the largest K-12 budget in Oregon history. This builds on my local school board record of boosting graduation rates by 10 percent, securing voter-approval of four new schools to relieve overcrowding and fast-tracking the installation of new safety entrances in 22 Bend La-Pine schools.
While our national and state politics are far too polarized and divided, I believe in leadership through consensus and collaboration. It’s not easy. But I’m confident the people of Bend want and expect effective leadership that is moderate, locally focused and seeks common ground and bipartisan solutions. Over the next year, I plan to run an aggressive grassroots campaign — walking door to door, seeking local endorsements, putting up yard signs, engaging in social media and participating in community events. But I also know that special interests will target me for defeat. That means I need to raise money for campaign staff, TV and on-line ads, direct mail and radio. This is where I need your help.
Today, I am hoping you will do two things to help me get my campaign off to a strong start — donate $100 and lend your name to my campaign with a personal endorsement.
Sixteen years ago, Steve and I were drawn to Bend, like so many others, by the opportunity to start our own business, raise a family and enjoy the incredible outdoor lifestyle. It’s been the honor of my lifetime to represent Bend in the Oregon Legislature. I’m grateful for your continued support and friendship. Hope to see you soon.