By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Elmer makes bid for District 24 seat

Lucetta Elmer
Lucetta Elmer

[Editor's Note: The print version of the candidate profiles in the race for House District 24 that appeared in Friday's News-Register inaccurately attributed some candidate background and policy statements between Lucetta Elmer and Victoria Ernst. The corrected versions appear online, and a correction will be printed in the Tuesday issue. The News-Register regrets the error.]

McMinnville’s Lucetta Elmer had never given the possibility of making a political splash for the first time much thought until fellow Republican and former District 24 State Legislator Ron Noble encouraged her to strongly consider seeking the seat if he were to step down.

She said no. For the time being at least. Local business interests were keeping her busy enough.

Elmer said she heard from Noble again last fall, and he had not changed his stance regarding his desire to see Elmer her represent the district in Salem. And, this time, he made it clear that he was going to be a candidate for his party’s nomination in the race for the state’s Sixth Congressional District.

“Now is the time,” Elmer told herself. She believed she had a track record of proven leadership. She said she was intent on returning party balance and bringing voices together in Salem. Transforming Oregon into a more business friendly state was a priority.

She is opposed by the Democratic candidate, Victoria Ernst of Newberg, in the November general election.

Noble is stepping away from politics for the time being. Mike Erickson was the Republican nominee for the Sixth Congressional District seat in the May primary and faces Democrat Andrea Salinas in November.

Linfield University, where Elmer attended, hosted a forum featuring only the District 24 candidates earlier this week.

“I’m a Wildcat and enjoyed my time here,” she told the attendees.

Elmer said what the last 20 years of running business ventures with her husband, Denny, have taught her is how to collaborate, be a good listener and how to be understanding of others, all of which she believes would serve her well in Salem.

The Elmers own Union Block Coffee and the Douglas on Third, both in downtown McMinnville, in addition to buildings that house the Douglas and three other businesses on the east end of Third Street.

They also operate four recreational vehicle parks, two in Central Oregon, one on the South Oregon Coast and their newest park in the West Valley, adjacent to the Highway 18 intersection with Sheridan Road.

On the business front , Elmer has served on boards of the McMinnville Chamber of Commerce and McMinnville Downtown Association, in addition to being a liaison with the goal of bringing the boards together.

That, she said, is an example of her proven leadership.

Elmer said she knows she is ready to follow in Noble’s footsteps. She appreciates the standard the former McMinnville Police Chief set as a legislator.

“He’s reached across the isle more than any other Republican or Democrat,” Elmer said.

The forum candidates answered questions from the audience, and were questioned about the state of mental health and public safety in Yamhill County.

Elmer said mental health is a huge issue and Oregon is not addressing it accordingly. Locally, she said, Juliette’s House and Provoking Hope have been the recipients of significant funding, thanks to Noble, but there has to be effective leadership so agencies are provided funding quicker.

Juliette’s House is a child abuse intervention center in McMinnville. Provoking Hope is a recovery support service based in town.

On the subject of public safety, Elmer said she supports fully funding law enforcement and fire/emergency medical services efforts.

She is backs fully funding public safety 100 percent.

Elmer, who earlier in her campaign said she intended to spend about $150,000, said everyone wants Oregon to be the best it can be.

“We’ve been knocking on doors, doing meet-and-greets. There’s been non-effective leadership at the state level for too long. Maybe it’s time for a change in leadership.”

Elmer has been endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Business, Defend Small Business PAC, Taxpayer Association of Oregon, Oregon Right to Life, Sheriff’s of Oregon PAC, Oregon Chiefs of Police, Oregon Farm Bureau, Ag-PAC, Oregon Nurseries PAC and Oregon Business and Industry.


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