GOP gubernatorial candidate Richardson visits Bend

Part of three-stop campaign kick-off

Joe Burns, KTVZ and The Associated Press
POSTED: 9:30 PM PDT July 24, 2013 
BEND, Ore. -

A Republican state representative from Central Point announced his run for governor Wednesday and stopped in Bend as part of three kick-off campaign events.

State Rep. Dennis Richardson wants to be the next governor of Oregon.

A lawyer from Central Point, Richardson is one of the most visible Republican legislators and is best known as the GOP's go-to lawmaker on budget matters.

Richardson made the announcement official earlier Wednesday in his district of Central Point, but came to Bend to help get his name out.

"After being co-chair of the Ways and Means Committee and seeing how the budgets are developed when there is no long-term look at what you are getting for how much you are spending, it just became apparent that we need a change in our course," Richardson told NewsChannel 21.

"My run for Oregon's governor is not about an 'R' versus a 'D', it's about what hasn't worked and what is going to work," Richardson said. "I mean, Governor Kitzhaber is a nice guy. He's been in three terms. I mean in baseball, three strikes and you're out if you don't hit the ball. So, we are not hitting the ball."

Richardson told several dozen supporters at a plywood processing plant in Eugene Wednesday that he wants to give Oregon "a future that we can honor."

The 62-year-old Richardson is originally from Los Angeles. He flew helicopters in Vietnam before eventually settling in Southern Oregon in 1979.

Eastern Oregon rancher Jon Justesen, a Republican, is the only other candidate to announce a campaign for governor. In a statement, he welcomed Richardson to the race.

Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber said earlier this month that he hasn't decided whether to run for a fourth term.