Gov. Brown talks, shops at Hood River businesses

Gov. Brown meets Diane Babcock at Twiggs, along with Zack, the diabetics’ support dog she is training.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
Gov. Brown meets Diane Babcock at Twiggs, along with Zack, the diabetics’ support dog she is training.

With fellow Democratic candidates Anna Williams and Chrissy Reitz in tow, Gov. Kate Brown made a surprise visit to Hood River on Thursday.

Brown visited Twiggs, Maleka, Pine Street Bakery, Ruddy Duck and other women-owned businesses, talking with employees and customers. Reitz is running for Senate Dist. 26 and Williams for House Dist. 52, also on the Nov. 6 General Election ballot.

“I’m checking in seeing how the campaigns are going. It’s sort of a last push, and also checking in to see how businesses are doing,” Brown said, noting it has been a little over a year since the Eagle Creek fire.

“I’m hearing from everyone about affordable housing issues. We’re walking hard on affordability and work force market rate side, but Hood River is particularly challenged by these issues,” she said. “Whether we’re talking about minimum wage or people who want to teach in local schools, they’re having trouble finding a home and that’s a challenge.”

Brown, who faces a close race from Republican challenger Knute Buehler, called it “more of a campaign stop” than an official governor stop. “I might also do a little holiday shopping,” she said.

“I’m feeling really good about the race,” Brown said. “There’s good news in terms of turnout. Voters are quickly turning in ballots and signs look good. We’re cautiously optimistic. I don’t take anything for granted. “

At Twiggs, customer Diane Babcock of Hood River expressed concern over the fate of coverage for pre-existing conditions.

“We are doing everything we can to push back on the Trump administration on that,” Brown said. “It’s unacceptable, people with pre-existing conditions are our most vulnerable, and the whole point of Affordable Care Act is to see to it that people with pre-existing conditions have coverage. We will fight this one.”

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