Dr. Pierce and his wife, Selma, visited Eastern Oregon at the end of October. He arrived in Pendleton and started with a community conversation at St. Anthony Hospital. Citizens were concerned about land-use issues, the shortage of primary care doctors, water and energy. Hospital President Harold Geller talked about the need to attract physicians into the area. Director of Hospital Communications, Larry Blanc coordinated a tour of the beautiful hospital, which is only a few years old.
It was great to be invited to KUMA radio to join local celebrity host Butch Thurman on his show "Coffee Hour." Bud talked about his desire to fix our broken government and how important Eastern Oregon issues are to the state.
Then, at the East Oregonian office, three reporters joined in the interview. They were interested in what Bud thought it would take to get a Republican elected to office. He emphasized that when third party candidates run, that draws support away from Republicans. He also said we need a new message and a new messenger and to go back to what is great about Republicans. "I provide a new message," Bud said. Read the article here.
The clear message from Eastern Oregon was that people in this part of the state do not feel "heard" by politicians. Pierce committed to listen and to return to the region for more conversations. After a tour of the amazing Pendleton Woolen Mill, the candidate picked up lunch at Great Pacific and headed for La Grande.
It was back to school in La Grande, where Bud and Selma went to the campus of Eastern Oregon University to meet with students and some faculty. They enjoyed walking by the Pierce Library (no relation). Students asked how the candidate planned to create economic prosperity. The discussion focused on encouraging growth in the region, student loans, leadership and how Bud’s background prepared him for leadership.
Two quick radio interviews finished up the La Grande visit. Listen to the interview here.
In Ontario, the Pierce's were welcomed at the Plaza Inn Restaurant and had a chance to visit with Larry Meyer from the Argus Observer. They moved into a business roundtable in which local business owners talked about feeling disenfranchised from the other part of the state. Minimum wage is a critical issue for the area.
Bud told them he would be a governor who listens and cares and spends time with people in areas beyond the I-5 corridor. "I completely oppose turning the less populated part of the state into parks for people to visit. People choose to live in open areas and should be able to use their resources for economic prosperity." As for a hike in the minimum wage, he said, "The economy needs to drive the wages. We need prosperity so we can pay real wages. People in Salem can't dictate wages." Read the Argus article here.