Stan Pulliam, who has taken full advantage of his role as Sandy mayor to garner name recognition and popularity as a rising star among Oregon's conservative politicians, is taking the next step by considering a run for governor.
On April 14 at Sandy's Meinig Memorial Park, Pulliam announced the formation of an exploratory committee to consider his candidacy for the 2022 gubernatorial race.
Beginning next week, Pulliam will take his "listening tour" on the road to Oregon communities as he measures support of his candidacy.
Pulliam has often vocally opposed decisions by Democratic Gov. Kate Brown during the COVID-19 pandemic, taking to local media sources, as well as national channels like Lars Larson and Fox & Friends to disparage her decisions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.
He also led the "Open Oregon" movement, encouraging businesses to reopen New Year's Day, under lesser COVID restrictions than what was mandated at the time.
"Several businesses have been reaching out to me and they're in panic mode," Pulliam said prior to a two-week freeze called by the governor in November, amid rising cases of COVID-19.
"They were already barely hanging on as it is. Now they're extremely worried that this will push them over the top, and that makes me worried about the future of Main Street economy."
Pulliam has often argued that he doesn't see the data justifying Brown's restrictions on businesses.
His opposition to these restrictions is part of what he will cite during his launch event this afternoon as one reason for considering a run for governor.
"Our current governor has ruled with a cold smugness inside a bubble of the ruling elite and special interests that continue to craft backroom deals, ignore scientific evidence of lockdown effectiveness, and prioritize the wish lists of her campaign contributors," Pulliam said. "Maybe it's time for a different approach. Maybe Oregon needs a mayor."
Pulliam has likewise criticized the leadership and management of Portland over the past year, saying the city "has become a national laughingstock of failed policies that have turned a once beautiful city into a graffiti-covered war zone of boarded-up businesses, open drug use and skyrocketing violence."
Pulliam further stated that the Multnomah County's district attorney has "essentially legalized violent crime by creating catch-and-release policies for criminals who share his far-left extremist political ideologies."
Many in the community have speculated since Pulliam's campaign days for his first mayoral election that he was using this local position as a steppingstone for higher office, including Sandy City Councilor Kathleen Walker in a council meeting earlier this year.
Pulliam, however, says: "Being mayor of such a place is a huge honor. It makes me wonder how our state ruling elite continue to disappoint us with such an intrepid population of Oregonians behind them."
Pulliam was unsuccessful in 2017 at receiving the appointment to the House District 52 seat vacated by Rep. Mark Johnson, who stepped down mid term to take a job with Oregon Business and Industry.
Pulliam's second term as mayor will end on Dec. 31, 2022.
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