Election 2014: Meet the candidates for Senate District 11
Patti Milne and Tom Chereck, Jr., vie for the Republican nomination in the May 20 election
Relevant experience: Marion County commissioner, 1999-present; State representative, 1993-1998; majority whip, 1995; Woodburn School Board, 1989-1992; Marion County Educational Service District Budget Committee; small business owner; Woodburn Rotary president-elect; Woodburn DSA Senior Citizen, 2014.
Why are you running? I am running for Senate District 11to put my problem-solving skills, my experience, and my energy to work for you in the state legislature. There is a history of failed leadership and lack of representation in Senate District 11. Unemployment and poverty rates are too high, home ownership and student achievement are far too low. Policy changes and funding cuts to our public safety agencies put our children and our neighborhoods at risk, and the embarrassing health care debacle leaves vulnerable people more vulnerable.
What do you think are the three biggest issues facing your district? Jobs, public safety and education.
What do you think are the three biggest issues facing the Woodburn area? Jobs, public safety and education. A fourth and very important issue is the Woodburn Urban Growth Boundary. It is tragic and unacceptable that the city (and private owners) has had to spend over $1 million to fight special interest groups who have gotten in the way of thoughtful and careful planning to accommodate economic growth that is essential to Woodburn and the surrounding area.
What three things would you like to see accomplished if elected? An improved economy evidenced by job growth through new business startups and expansion of existing businesses. More people employed in quality jobs, fewer unemployed and fewer underemployed. More resources and stronger policies that better enable public safety agencies to keep our neighborhoods safe and hold offenders accountable. Increased student achievement and increased educational opportunities for all students.
Name three reasons why you are the best candidate for the job: My record of being a problem solver. I work across the political aisle, from a non-partisan perspective and get results. Through my extensive, broad background in government, community service and civic service, I have long-term, solid working relationships and understand the issues and community concerns.
Hobbies/Interests: Family (grandchildren!), friends and Rotary, baseball, traveling, houses, interior design and crafts.
Tom Chereck, Jr.
Relevant experience: We have a citizen legislature, and I am a legal citizen who has been actively supporting and opposing legislation in various ways.
Why are you running? I filed to run Sept. 30, 2013, knowing that business Republicans would pick someone they felt was more suited to the position. I decided to stay in the race even though Patti Milne, a friend of mine, was the business pick.
What do you think are the three biggest issues facing your district? 1. Since my district is in the state capital county, government growth by increased taxes and fees should be reduced. 2. I disagree with the consolidation of power in the state. 3. Instead of protecting lands, we need them to be productive.
What do you think are the three biggest issues facing the Woodburn area? 1. Human trafficking. 2. Schools that are crowded by children whose parents are not citizens and have no desire to be. 3. English only immersion in the schools to promote Mexicans to become USA citizens.
What three things would you like to see accomplished if elected? 1. The state needs to free up protected lands so that they can be productive. 2. The state needs to limit the mandates on the counties. 3. The state needs to reduce class size by getting at the illegal immigration component.
Name three reasons why you are the best candidate for the job: 1. There are many Bible believers in Woodburn. They believe, as I do, that all people should want to exercise their freedom without hindrance. 2. We need to stand up against issues relating to Sharia compliance and make it illegal to support that. 3. I am willing to stand up to bullies that are running this state into a deficit position.
Hobbies/Interests: I am the Marion County coordinator for Oathkeepers, encouraging veterans to participate in twice a month meetings at Eola Inn. Besides preaching at Market and Lancaster in Salem regularly, I have a YouTube channel with 1,300-plus videos and 33 playlists. It is called Floraspec. I enjoy plant propagation in my greenhouse and selling from our small stand near the Fairgrounds.