Chris Telfer’s financial and political experience make her the obvious choice to be Oregon’s next treasurer.
Telfer, who has been both a Democrat and a Republican in the past, is running as the candidate of the Independent Party.
A certified public accountant, she has a sound foundation in money matters from running her own accounting business in Bend for more than 30 years. Telfer, 66, built on that foundation by focusing her extensive political life on financial concerns, ranging from the Bend-La Pine school district budget committee to the state Senate Finance and Revenue Committee. It continues today as she serves as an Oregon Lottery commissioner and teaches government accounting at Oregon State University-Cascades.
Other roles in Telfer’s public service career include serving on the Bend Urban Renewal Agency, as a city councilor elected in 2002 and 2005, and as a state senator elected in 2008.
Telfer is opposed by Republican Jeff Gudman, Democrat Tobias Read, and Progressive and Green Party candidate Chris Henry.
Gudman, 62, who is in his second term as a Lake Oswego city councilor, holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business and has worked in finance for several companies. He makes a convincing case for financial knowledge, but he lacks Telfer’s understanding of state government, critical to getting things done.
Read, 41, has represented state House District 27 since 2007 and clearly knows his way around the Legislature and state government. He holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Washington, but his career experience has offered him little further expertise in finance.
Henry, 52, is a truck driver focused on the idea that Oregon should establish a state bank. He wants Oregon to retreat from the global financial system.
The next treasurer will replace Democrat Ted Wheeler, who will become Portland mayor after being barred by state term limits from running for another term as treasurer. He has pushed for a change in state law to allow the state’s investments to be managed in-house by state staff rather than outside money managers. Telfer rejects that risky idea, saying the investment results would not be as good and the costs would be substantial.
As treasurer, Telfer would be well-positioned to provide leadership on the drastic shortfall in funding for the state’s Public Employees Retirement System. The state’s Democratic leadership has thrown up its hands in helplessness on the subject, while Telfer and Republican state legislators are working on plans that deserve serious attention.
On these and many other issues, Telfer can help the state deal with its serious financial issues. Voters should send her to Salem.