Daniel Bonham, 41, was appointed to fill the legislative vacancy created when Rep. John Huffman, R-The Dalles, took a job with the Trump administration at the beginning of the year. Voters in District 59 should choose Bonham for a full term in the November general election.
Bonham is opposed by Darcy Long-Curtiss, 49, who has lived in The Dalles most of her life. She is currently a member of The Dalles City Council and is chairwoman of the Oregon Federation of Democratic Women. She has been active in groups ranging from the Wasco County Early Childhood Committee to the local chamber of commerce. She is a financial adviser.
While she notes she’s more conservative than many Willamette Valley Democrats, she is less so than either Bonham or a majority of voters in the district. She favors cap-and-invest legislation, which Bonham opposes, and has been endorsed by Moms Demand Action, a group that hopes to beef up gun ownership rules.
Bonham moved to Tigard from California as a child. He went to work for Evergreen Airlines and later spent a year at RB Rubber Products in McMinnville before he and his family moved to The Dalles in 2007 and bought Maupin’s Stove and Spas. This is his first run for political office, though he has served in the Legislature for nearly a year, during which he voted with his party most of the time. He is a member of a rural policy workgroup there.
He has served on The Dalles city budget committee and the city’s urban renewal budget committee. Also in The Dalles, he and his wife revitalized a local booster group and helped raise $100,000 for student athletes in a two-year period.
Bonham hopes to work in 2019 to toughen sentences for adults convicted in some of the worst child-abuse cases. He also hopes to find a way to help sparsely populated rural counties like Wheeler get funding for such things as search and rescue, a service that most frequently aids noncounty residents, he says.
If Bonham is elected, he will have the most basic lessons for a new lawmaker out of the way. He is a bit more conservative than his predecessor on some subjects, but on things that matter his views reflect those of his largely conservative district. He should be returned to Salem.