'I support President Trump. Period,' conservative councilor says
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Bend City Councilor Justin Livingston announced Tuesday his candidacy for the Republican nomination for Oregon’s Second Congressional District seat, currently held by retiring Rep. Greg Walden.
Livingston, a 42-year-old principal real estate broker, joins a crowded field of eight Republicans and five Democrats who have filed so far in the race to succeed Walden. The candidate filing deadline for the May 19 primary is March 10.
The announcement also comes a day after Melanie Kebler, a crime victims' rights attorney, announced her candidacy for Livingston's Bend City Council seat. The city council races take place in the fall election.
Here's Livingston's announcement news release, in full:
Livingston, 42, handily won a seat on the Bend City Council in 2016, and since has amassed a conservative voting record in one of the Second District’s biggest and most liberal cities, opposing a gas tax increase and a city climate change regulation that would have driven up housing costs with no impact on the climate.
“Republicans in the Second District expect and deserve unwavering conservative representation in Washington, D.C. I ran as a conservative in a liberal city and won. I’ve voted as a conservative on the Bend City Council. I will run for Congress as a conservative, and I will vote as a conservative in Congress. I take positions based on my values, not based on what liberals in Bend or Portland want to hear,” Livingston said.
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.
“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 laid out three main priorities upon which he would focus when elected:
1. Better management of federal lands to prevent and curtail fires. “If you live in the Second District, the federal government, which owns over 50% of the land in the district, is your neighbor and it’s often a pretty bad one. The U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management need a priority shift to allow more fuel reduction to prevent forest fires and employ loggers and millworkers throughout the Second District,” Livingston said.
2. Opposing regulations that increase cost of living and cost of doing business. “The Trump administration has done a good job reducing the amount of regulations facing Oregon residents and businesses. Many people in Oregon are struggling to make it financially – whether in expensive and fast-growing areas like Bend or Hood River or in places like John Day or Burns where bad federal timber policies have helped destroy the local economy. I oppose the types of renewable energy mandates that are popular in Portland but ultimately make it even more difficult for people in Central, Southern and Eastern Oregon to make ends meet,” Livingston said.
3. Support for 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. 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.
For more information please visit www.livingston4congress.com.