By editorial board • 

Pierce’s balance is just what the doctor ordered

This election, Oregonians have an opportunity to shift the balance of power in Salem. In the process, they have an opportunity to slow a political agenda being rammed down their throats in a manner that disregards the state’s constitutional mandate that laws must “equally belong to all the citizens.” They can accomplish this goal by voting Salem physician Bud Pierce into the governor’s office. 

Pierce has displayed, during this lengthy election season, an ability to fairly represent all Oregonians. He’s toured all sections of the state to hear from residents. While rural regions typically cater more to Republican candidates, Pierce has not hesitated to engage voters in metropolitan areas and respond to their concerns as well.

His opponent, Gov. Kate Brown, who assumed the office with John Kitzhaber’s resignation, is an archetypal career politician.

Rising through the ranks from legislator to secretary of state, she left some admirable marks. But overall, her record reads more like someone fighting for partisan causes than someone working toward the best solutions. And that has been evident in her short stint as governor.

The carbon tax, paid sick leave and minimum wage hike were warm and fuzzy causes. But they were implemented in offputting ways, without regard for their impact on small businesses in an already unfavorable business climate.

Pierce, a longtime oncologist, understands the impact of business regulations in the state. In the pressing needs of health care, homelessness and improving the economy, his vision is more pragmatic than his opponent’s. He fully recognizes that simply shoveling more tax revenue into the state budget isn’t going to solve Oregon’s problems.

His success in the medical field has allowed Pierce to self-fund much of his campaign. So he would enter the governorship beholden only to the voters, not to powerful special-interest PACs and unions.

Pierce has made an investment into making Oregon a better place, and he deserves a chance to see it through.

Unfortunately, Brown’s career is more or less owned by the state’s public employee unions. She has failed to act on efforts to fix the state’s Public Employees Retirement System, settling for supporting the unions’ ill-conceived, unfair Measure 97, a hidden sales tax that will take a bite out of citizen pocketbooks at every turn hope. 

Perhaps, given two more years, Brown can achieve a modicum of independence as a leader for Oregon. If she is ultimately elected, we’ll be resigned to pinning our hopes on that.

But we won’t be holding our breath and you shouldn’t either. Brown and her Democratic colleagues have made a habit of enacting laws with emergency clauses. To us, that shows a lack of respect for constituents and anyone disagreeing with their pet political agenda. 

Pierce would provide a fresh mentality. His balance of fiscal conservatism and sensitivity to social issues would resonate in Salem.

We need a measured approach to government in our state, one that doesn’t settle for short-term expedience, but actually accounts for long-term consequences. We believe Pierce is the candidate who would best accomplish that.

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