KOIN 6 News contacted candidates who are planning to run for Oregon governor in 2022, asking them to respond to these three questions:
- Why are you running for governor?
- In your opinion, what are the top three issues Oregon is facing right now?
- What is something you believe is going right in Oregon and how would you like to continue to build on it?
Kerry McQuisten is running as a Republican. Here are her responses:
Why are you running for governor?
In 2020 and 2021, like many Oregonians, I was in a “fight or flight” pattern, trying to decide whether to move out of the state due to Kate Brown’s draconian lockdowns, or stay and try to create change. After driving through most of the western half of the United States, it became clear to me that those states still felt like Oregon had felt when I was growing up here. Freedom, hope, and common sense still existed elsewhere. I discovered that Oregon and our governor had become a running joke across the country, a testament to failed leadership. “Fight” prevailed. I did the best I could to stand up for my people as mayor, and made national news doing so, but I knew that wasn’t enough. Oregon needs so much of a course correction that the only way I could see to help in the way I wanted to help, was to run for higher office, and I have the business and civic background combined to do that job well. After two months of calls from all across Oregon asking me to run for governor, I knew what I needed to do. I didn’t make this decision lightly.
In your opinion, what are the top three issues Oregon is facing right now?
Only three? The issues facing Oregon all fall under two categories: massive government mismanagement and overreach into personal freedoms. Beneath those umbrellas, we should be standing with our police, not defunding them, and prosecuting criminals. Enabling our homeless and creating legislation that hamstrings cities from handling the situation locally does not work. Catastrophic wildfires are largely preventable and due to bad forest management. The government has NO place in personal medical decisions. Parents should control the decisions that shape our children’s future. I could go on.
What is something you believe is going right in Oregon and how would you like to continue to build on it?
The good people I meet and the beautiful land I see traveling around Oregon have always been the state’s greatest assets. The people are the biggest thing “right” with our state, and every time someone comes to me with a problem that is impacting their family, business, and so on, I find that problem has been created by the government. We need less interference, smaller government and more freedom. If our legislative branch would quit passing horrific legislation and our executive branch would stop the tyranny, our people would be freer to accomplish what they need and want to accomplish. Individuals build and create, not government. The people are not children looking to Salem as a nanny. The state, in large part, needs to step back and get out the way because the overreach is astounding.
Editor’s Note: KOIN 6 News asked McQuisten to explain how “Enabling our homeless and creating legislation that hamstrings cities from handling the situation locally does not work.” She replied saying the legislation she’s referring to is Oregon HB 3115 and other legislation that outlines what cities can and can’t do relating to dispersing of camps and belongings. HB 3115 passed in June 2021 and will go into effect in July 2023. The law sets state restrictions on how cities can enforce laws preventing homeless people from camping in public spaces. It requires cities to be “objectively reasonable” with regulating the act of sitting, sleeping or keeping warm on property that is open to the public.
KOIN also asked McQuisten to cite her source for her statement that says, “Catastrophic wildfires are largely preventable and due to bad forest management.” She said she’s spoken to professional foresters, ranchers and loggers who say heavy fuel loads result in a lot of fuel to burn and a managed fuel load leaves less to burn. She also said blocked roads make it difficult for fire crews to reach fires and grass that’s allowed to grow tall when it isn’t grazed can burn easily. She said grazed pasture stops the spread of fire on grasslands and prevents it from reaching things like timber. McQuisten said she also learned this during her childhood when she was raised on a ranch with both timber and pasture land.
KOIN 6 News made minor adjustments to spelling, capitalization and punctuation in the responses the gubernatorial candidates submitted.