House District 52: Counties will select from three candidates

House District 52 Candidates (left to right) Erick Haynie, Jeff Helfrich, Stan Pulliam.

This story has been updated.

Three finalists have been named in the search to fill a vacant District 52 seat in the Oregon House.

Elected boards of commissioners representing Hood River, Clackamas and Multnomah counties will select a replacement this week for Rep. Mark Johnson (R-Hood River), who resigned Nov. 6.

Oregon Secretary of State Communications Director Alyssa Orlando said Republican Party precinct committee members for the district recently met and chose three nominees:

•Erick Haynie, Hood River

•Jeff Helfrich, Hood River

•Stan Pulliam, Sandy

Board members will meet at a tri-county joint session in Sandy Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 29 to interview candidates and choose a replacement. The meeting is open to the public.

District 52 spans the western Columbia River Gorge and eastern edges of the Portland metro area. It encompasses Hood River, Cascade Locks, Corbett, Sandy, Estacada, and parts of Gresham.

Haynie is a commercial trial lawyer with almost 20 years of law practice. He has served on various boards, including president of Hood River Rotary Club and a volunteer board member of Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital Foundation.

“I have never run for public office. Nonetheless, I am throwing my name into the hat because I believe Oregon can and should do better,” Haynie said.

“We need a stronger economy that will help raise income for families across our state, many of which struggle to make ends meet. Our public schools also need stable, consistent funding.”

He called for a “bipartisan solution” to the state’s public pension system issues, and stewardship of the environment.

Haynie said Johnson brought “common sense, rural values to Salem.”

“We will miss him dearly. If I were to go to Salem, my goal would be to continue his good work and seek to raise the tide for the benefit of all Oregonians.”

Helfrich is an Air Force veteran and law enforcement officer with 30 years of public service.

He served four years on the Cascade Locks City Council before moving to Hood River in 2015.

He served on other Cascade Locks committees, as well as Mid-Columbia Economic Development District.

“I have dedicated most of my life to making my community and country better and safer places to live,” Helfrich said.

“I understand the needs of my community well as both leader and member. To be successful as a District Representative, however, I believe we must regularly communicate, collaborate, and advocate as a team to pursue goals that are community-driven, county-specific and improve quality of life District 52-wide,” Helfrich said.

“As a team, we can work together to provide the best outcomes for all the communities we live in and serve.”

Helfrich said he would “continue and expand upon” Johnson’s work on economic growth, transportation, infrastructure, education and workforce development, as well as “environmental stewardship and emergency preparedness, and health and human services.”

Pulliam is seeking appointment and then election, he said. He has worked as a legislative director for multiple elections in the early 2000s, according to an Oct. 31 story in the Sandy Post. He comes from a family of small business owners.

“It’s an honor to be a finalist. We all decided to live in these communities for the same reasons, and we need to work together to fight for them,” Pulliam said.

“We’ve got to find our shared values and work together toward the same destination we all want — better schools, less traffic congestion and a state budget that meets the priorities of all Oregonians,” Pulliam said.

“Hopefully what we can do with that is unite everybody behind common causes and purposes.”

He said in a news release announcing his candidacy, “Oregon has a history of innovative leadership. We don’t patch our problems with Band-Aid solutions, we come together as Oregonians to solve our problems and then ask what’s next?”

A Secretary of State database accessed Tuesday showed a Friends of Stan Pulliam political action committee has been set up for the 2018 primary election.

Johnson, who represented the district since 2011, stepped down mid-term to serve as the president and CEO of Oregon Business and Industry advocacy group.

Via Oregon law, county boards must select a replacement within 30 days from the same political party that last controlled the seat, in this case a Republican. The person selected will serve the remainder of Johnson’s unexpired term until the next election cycle, in 2018.

Wednesday’s session to pick a successor will be held at 4 p.m. at Sandy High School in its lecture hall, 37400 Bell St.

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