The election for state representative presents a clear choice for Bend voters. I’m a moderate, pro-choice Republican with a long record of working across party lines to deliver for Bend families. I’m a local small-business owner and former school board member who is in touch with day -to -day challenges facing our community. I’m an independent voice, willing to take on the powerful, loud and extreme — even going against my own party.

My opponent, Jason Kropf, is a different story. He is a predictable partisan and a silent spectator on many of the key issues facing our community, particularly education, housing and health care.

Most disturbing, are recent news reports detailing how Mr. Kropf’s richest and most powerful campaign donors tried to silence a survivor of sexual and racial harassment to help his campaign. Why would they do this? Because Kropf did nothing to change a toxic workplace and remained silent when his co-worker had the courage to speak her truth to power. Mr. Kropf was forced to come clean about this cover-up and is now desperately trying to return more than $20,000 in dirty campaign cash to save his own career. Bend deserves better than this type of insider ambition, corruption and abuse of power.

Right now, people are hurting and need government to be on their side, which is why I’ve focused my time and energy delivering results for Bend families. On health care, I’ve helped pass the strongest paid family medical leave law in the nation : 12 weeks of paid time off to care for a sick family member or newborn. After COVID-19 hit, I went to work to ensure that St. Charles Medical Center could remain open and accessible for people needing non -COVID-19 essential care. On education, I voted for the largest K-12 education budget in state history — a 10% increase. This translates into $270 million for our Bend-La Pine schools. After COVID-19 hit, I delivered more than $12 million dollars in emergency funding for local schools from the state rainy day fund. And I’ve been on the front lines urging our local education leaders to safely reopen our schools. On housing, I passed a new law that will allow new affordable housing to be built in Bends Central District and work closely with Bend Mayor Sally Russell to secure state lands inside the urban growth boundary to help build more affordable housing.

My opponent, Mr. Kropf has different priorities. He supports taxes, fees, regulations and policies that will cost jobs and make life even more expensive for Bend families — especially those living paycheck to paycheck. In the middle of this pandemic, we need to prioritize what’s important and essential : protecting jobs, benefits, paychecks and family budgets. But Jason Kropf wants to go to Salem to raise taxes and fees that will cost jobs and raise the cost of your monthly utility bills, gasoline for your car — even the cost of using your cellphone.

In politics today, most people follow the narrow party line. I’m different. I’m fiscally responsible, socially inclusive and environmentally conscious. I’ve taken on science deniers to ensure our kids and community are vaccinated from dangerous diseases. I’ve repeatedly opposed President Donald Trump. I broke with my party to pass a new gun safety law. Simply put, I’m not afraid to use my voice and stand my ground for things I believe are good for Bend and good for Oregon.

Like many of you, my husband and I came to Bend for the incredible lifestyle and beautiful environment. We’ve raised three kids, built our businesses and done our best to contribute to making our community a better place. Serving on the school board and as state representative is an honor. I would welcome the opportunity to continue serving you for another two years. I ask for your vote.

State Rep. Cheri Helt, a Republican, is running for reelection for House District 54, which includes Bend.

(1) comment



Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.