Yamhill County Commissioner Casey Kulla made his pitch for Oregon governor to a small group of supporters, potential voters and volunteers at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15, at Blue Lake Park in Fairview.
For months Kulla has toured Oregon talking to prospective voters and gaining feedback on the issues Oregonians want addressed in the upcoming gubernatorial election. He will run as a Democrat and seek the party's nomination in the primary election.
"In my travels around Oregon, people tell me about the impacts of climate change, political violence and intimidation, ineffective or unresponsive state agencies, the high cost of housing and homelessness, and of course, COVID," Kulla said in his opening remarks to the small crowd.
Kulla has been a farmer in Yamhill County since 2006 and was only recently elected as a member of the Yamhill Board of Commissioners in 2018.
The progressive candidate said he is uniquely situated to help unite Oregonians of differing viewpoints because of his work in more rural communities.
"You know somebody asked me, 'Why are you running for governor,'" Kulla said. "I told them, 'to stop a civil war.'"
Kulla then asked the group to share some of their concerns in Multnomah County and in Oregon in general. Many discussed hot-button issues like climate change, homelessness and hate groups like the Proud Boys.
When a supporter mentioned their fear of hate-groups invading their neighborhood, Kulla listened intently and often nodded.
"I was extremely concerned when the Proud Boys came down to your neighborhood," Kulla said.
Another concern raised was the COVID-19 virus. Gresham resident Rylee Carnham said she felt that at her work at a preschool, mask requirements were not strict enough.
"Working at a preschool, I felt like my safety wasn't prioritized," Carnham said. "We are much more involved with the kids (compared to elementary schools), but we were still not protected."
Kulla said Oregon has implemented a host of different guidelines from various entities, which has caused confusion.
"When we are dealing with COVID, we can't have this mish-mash of regulations," he said.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.