Three statewide GOP candidates visited Central Oregon on Saturday, the candidates for attorney general, state treasurer and labor commissioner.
The candidates were in Madras, attending the Jefferson County Fair Parade and had lunch at the home of Rick Allen, former Madras mayor and currently city manager of La Pine.
The Oregon Republican Party couldn't find a candidate to file for two statewide positions by the deadline before the May primary -- attorney general and treasurer -- so they had a write-in effort instead.
Portland lawyer James Buchal, the GOP candidate for attorney general, says we need some radical pruning of government.
"Government is like this overgrown weed, like our overgrown forests that are full of beetles and fallen logs and fiery infernos," Buchal said. "That's symbolic, and we have a real serious situation on our hands."
Buchal will be running against Democrat Ellen Rosenblum, who was appointed as attorney general after John Kroger left office.
The other write-in candidate is for Oregon state treasurer.
Tom Cox, a former Libertarian candidate for governor, is up against incumbent Democrat Ted Wheeler.
Cox wants to tackle PERS, the state Public Employee Retirement System, and says it's causing terrible trouble for county and city budgets.
"What we need to do is turn it into a defined contribution, rather than a defined benefit plan," Cox said. "That way, there can never be an unfunded liability, and we won't ever face these kind of problems ever again."
The third Republican candidate visiting our area was Bruce Starr, the party nominee running for state labor commissioner.
Starr, faces against incumbent Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian this fall, said he sees an opportunity to help grow Oregon's economy and get people back to work.
"I think every statewide elected office-holder today in this state needs to be doing everything possible to create economic opportunities for Oregonians," Starr said. "I don't think this particular office is doing that, and I intend to."
Buchal says the candidates need the support of Central Oregonians, as well as Eastern and Southern Oregonians, or they can't win the race.
Also along for the trip was The Dalles state Rep. John Huffman, who made an announcement this week he will apply to lead the House Republican Leadership Caucus.
The former caucus leader, Kevin Cameron, recently stepped down.