Bend councilor announces bid for Walden’s congressional seat

Bend City Councilor Justin Livingston has announced he will run for Congress, seeking the GOP nomination for Oregon’s 2nd district currently held by the retiring Rep. Greg Walden.

Livingston, 42, was elected to the Bend City Council in 2016 as a conservative candidate in one of Oregon’s most liberal cities, opposing a gas tax increase and city climate change regulation he said would have driven up housing costs with no impact on the climate.

“I will run for Congress as a conservative, and I will vote as a conservative in Congress,” he said in a statement announcing his candidacy. “I take positions based on my values, not based on what liberals in Bend or Portland want to hear.”

According to Livingston’s announcement, last year, Livingston worked with Walden and the Trump Administration to win over $60 million in federal funds to improve traffic flows at the north end of Bend and open more employment land for development and job creation. The federal grant is the largest ever received by any government body in Central Oregon, Livingston said.

“I support President Trump. Period. I voted for him in 2016 and I will vote for him again in 2020. The impeachment proceedings were a sham that arose from the reflexive opposition to President Trump from Democrats and even some Republicans. Unlike one candidate in this race, I do not believe President Trump’s popularity is fueled by voters’ despair – I believe it is fueled by many Americans’ desire for a conservative in the White House. I do not believe, as that candidate does, that President Trump has no place as leader of the Republican Party. I believe statements like that, coming from Republicans in elected office, gave Democrats the cover they needed to try to overturn President Trump’s election via the flawed impeachment process” Livingston said.

Livingston said his priorities would be better management of federal lands to prevent forest fires, opposing regulations that increase cost of living and the cost of doing business and supporting pro-life legislation and judges.

“Unlike one Republican candidate in this race, I am strongly pro-life and support President Trump’s judicial appointments. Undermining conservative judicial appointees to appeal to Portland liberals is just wrong. Second District Republicans deserve an advocate in Washington who agrees with their views on abortion and judicial appointments,” Livingston said. “They deserve someone who stands for conservative principles, not someone whose political career until recently was dedicated to making Portland liberals forget he’s a Republican,” Livingston said.

The race for Oregon’s 2nd District is getting crowded with now 13 candidates vying to replace Walden, who announced late last year he was not seeking re-election after 20 years in Washington.

The Oregon Secretary of State’s Office shows 14 candidates currently have filed including fellow Republicans Jimmy Crumpacker, David Campbell, Jason Atkinson, Cliff Bentz, Knute Buehler, Kenneth Medenbach, Mark Roberts and Jeff Smith and Democrats Nick Heuertz, John Holm, Jack Howard, Alex Spenser and Isabella Tibbetts.

 

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