Editor's note: NewsChannel 21 reached out to all of the Democrat and Republican candidates for governor and asked if they would respond to the same set of questions. We are presenting their answers online, in full and as sent, except for any minor typos/spelling errors.
Democratic candidate Patrick Starnes
What sets you apart from the other candidates?
Two things set me apart:
- Campaign finance reform - I am the only candidate who is banning corporate and PAC donations while setting a $1,000 limit per person
- Rural Democrat - The majority of my opponents have not lived in rural areas and have not learned how to work effectively with divergent opinions. As a member of school boards and the watershed council, I have had to work elbow-to-elbow with ranchers, farmers, and other interests helping us all achieve shared successes.
What are your top three priorities and plans to address them?
- Get BIG money out of Oregon elections. We can have a level playing field if we set contribution limits which ban corporate and PAC money from elections. Politicians will need to rely on people powered campaigns. Oregon is one of only 5 states with no contribution limits whatsoever.
- Build shelter for the unhoused. I am the only candidate proposing the Oregon Shelter Fund and a way to pay for it.
- There are almost 300,000 working Oregonians with NO health insurance. Oregon can become the first single-payer healthcare provider in the country if we make OHP4all. All 4.2 million Oregonians under the same Oregon Health Plan will give us the leverage to lower healthcare and drug costs. At the same time, it will provide preventative health care which will also lead to huge savings and better outcomes for Oregonians.
What one accomplishment are you most proud of and why?
- In 2019, I went door to door in the Oregon Capitol to ask the legislature to refer a ballot measure (M107) to the voters in November 2020. Out of the 90 legislative members, 85 voted to refer the Constitutional Amendment to the voters who then passed the amendment with 78% support. This amendment finally allowed Oregonians to set campaign contribution limits. It was one of the most bi-partisan ballot measures in Oregon history!
Why should Central Oregonians vote for you?
- Central Oregonians are getting behind my campaign because I am focusing on issues that unite us. They know that my experience of working in a bipartisan way will allow us to enjoy shared successes and reunite the state toward being One Oregon.