Incumbent city Councilor Barb Campbell and environmental steward Gena Goodman-Campbell appear likely to win Bend City Council seats after initial election results Tuesday.
Goodman-Campbell, the public lands coordinator for the Oregon Natural Desert Association, led her main opponent, Central Oregon Community College student life director Andrew Davis, by a two-to-one margin. Musician Victor Johnson, the third candidate in that race, received only a few votes.
Goodman-Campbell, 34, decided to run for the City Council because of conversations she had with voters during her unsuccessful campaign for the state House two years ago. She’s focused on lowering housing costs and improving transportation options.
She said she thought her success stemmed in part from her canvassing in 2016, when she knocked on thousands of doors. Goodman-Campbell said her work will continue until new councilors take office.
“I want to make sure I’m really up to speed on all the issues that will come before me and staying in touch with constituents,” she said.
Campbell had a slighter but still significant lead over stay-at-home mother Sarah McCormick. Ron “Rondo” Boozell, a frequent candidate who spent election night and most of the campaign season in jail, collected a handful of votes in that race.
Campbell, 54, campaigned on her experience and work on city initiatives including bike greenways and code changes targeted at reducing the cost of housing.
McCormick and Davis far out-raised their competitors, and the bulk of their contributions came in large sums from groups representing the housing and real estate industries and the Bend Chamber of Commerce. By the end of the day Tuesday, McCormick had reported raising more than $80,000, and Davis had collected nearly $75,000.
Meanwhile, Campbell raised nearly $14,000, and Goodman-Campbell collected about $19,500. Boozell and Johnson did no fundraising.
McCormick, 32, made addressing homelessness in downtown a key issue of her campaign. She also criticized Campbell as being too focused on national politics to serve Bend residents.
Boozell, 57, has run unsuccessfully several times for the Bend City Council. His campaign has been all but nonexistent because he’s been in jail since August for failing to pay child support, but during a jailhouse interview he said he wanted to be a voice for the homeless and other people who aren’t represented in Bend government.
Davis, 34, is a lifelong northeast Bend resident. His priority is to quickly annex and provide services to the 2,380 acres in Bend’s urban growth boundary, the state-approved line around cities that determines where they can grow.
He said Tuesday he was surprised and disappointed by the vote.
“That’s a pretty big margin, so I wouldn’t expect it to change,” he said. “I ran a good hard race, and I’m proud of what I’ve done.”
Johnson, 49, ran to draw the council’s focus to music and arts.
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