Huffman will seek re-election

The Dalles legislator has represented House District 59 since 2007

By Lauren Dake / The Bulletin / @LaurenDake

John Huffman

Age: 56

Education: Eldon High School, Eldon, Mo., 1975; took college, professional and executive management course work to support professional career over the years

Occupation: Retired from broadcasting; currently involved in commercial real estate and property management

Family: Wife, Korina, eight children, 15 grandchildren

Previous political experience: First appointed to the Legislature in 2007

SALEM — Rep. John Huffman, R-The Dalles, a retired radio executive who was first appointed to the House in 2007, said he still has work to do representing the people of House District 59 and plans to seek re-election in 2014.

“You come into the Legislature and want to work hard for the district and get stuff done. At some point, you naively think you’re going to say, ‘I’ve done good work and it’s time to move on’ and hopefully I will reach that point one of these days, because I’m not a career politician … but when it comes to election time, you say, ‘Man, I still have a long list of things (I’m) working on.’”

Huffman, 56, said he has enjoyed his positions on the Capital Construction and Ways and Means committees, which placed him in a strategic position to ensure Oregon State University-Cascades Campus was on the correct track to receive the funding it needed to expand into a four-year university.

His work on the state budget has also allowed him the opportunity to fund some of the programs he cares about, from Oregon State University extension offices to the food bank and small business development centers.

“Helping balance the budget, prioritizing state services, those are some things I’ve really focused on,” Huffman said.

He said his relationships in the state capitol have helped his constituents and he expects his ability to work across party lines will continue to benefit the district.

If re-elected, he would continue his work on the state’s budget and continue to support responsible natural resource management in the state.

“Natural resources is not the least on that list, it’s at the top of things I’ve always worked on,” he said.

The state will likely need to continue to help the timber counties that rely on shrinking federal subsidies.

One of his favorite parts of his job as a legislator, he said, is traveling the state and meeting with officials and community members and “coming up with solutions that meet their needs.” He recently met with Jefferson County officials, he said, “and we’re trying to figure out the right approach to get Jefferson County in the queue for bonding and construction for a new courthouse.”

Huffman said he’s also interested in seeing how small, rural businesses could benefit from some of the tax certainty the state recently granted both Nike and Intel.

“How can we take that model and move it to rural Oregon and apply it to other businesses wanting to come into Central Oregon and the Gorge?” Huffman said.

So far, Huffman has one Republican challenger for the seat, Britt Storkson, from The Dalles. A Democrat has yet to file for the seat.

— Reporter: 541-554-1162, ldake@bendbulletin.com