A Cascade Locks resident has challenged Sen. Rick Metsger, D-Welches, for the District 26 seat in the Nov. 5 General Election.
Former State Representative Bob Montgomery filed his candidacy last week with the state elections division. Montgomery, a Republican, previously served District 25 from January of 1995 through January of 2001. He was barred from running for re-election to the House seat by the then existing term limits law.
Metsger, who is serving his first four-year term, has stated his intent to seek re-election but has not yet officially filed his candidacy.
Montgomery said, if elected, he plans to focus on many of the same issues he concentrated on during his first tenure as a public official, and on other issues -- including jobs and the economy -- that have become important to Oregon during the past couple of years.
"It doesn't take a Harvard economist to understand that our current economic problems are the result of having the highest unemployment rate in the nation," said Montgomery. "It's vital that our legislators understand that finding ways to get people back to work must be priority one."
Montgomery also wants to assure that funding for schools doesn't suffer because of the current downturn in the economy.
"Cutting back on dollars for education would be the gravest mistake we could make in trying to get our budget back on balance," he said. "We need to make sure our schools remain properly funded but, at the same time, guarantee we are getting top value for the money we put toward education."
Other issues Montgomery will focus on during the campaign include transportation -- a long time areas of expertise, land use and development and public safety.
Under the 2001 legislative redistricting, Hood River County was taken out of the District 28 held by Sen. Ted Ferrioli, R-John Day, and included in a new District 26 which is made up of Hood River County, east Multnomah County and northern Clackamas County.