HD-59: Will Boettner's tough challenge to Rep. John Huffman

By Jack Lorts of Fossil, Oregon. Jack is the mayor of Fossil, the chair of the Democratic Party in Wheeler County, and is the former chair of the DPO's Rural Caucus.

As the deadline for filing approaches for candidates running for Oregon legislative seats, we are learning of more and more exciting candidates. Here in the always winnable Oregon HD-59, encompassing The Dalles, Madras, John Day and the Fossil/Condon areas, we have an exciting challenger to the entrenched establishment.

Fossil resident Will Boettner has announced that he has filed to run against Republican incumbent Rep. John Huffman of The Dalles, a former radio station executive. Boettner is a long time community activist, chair of the Wheeler County Planning Commission chair of the DPO Rural Caucus, vice-chair of Wheeler County Democrats, and more.

Boettner is an articulate and outspoken advocate for rural issues. As a professional geologist, he brings a wealth of experience in water resource and land management to the task at hand.

Another cardinal issues for Boettner is rural health care which he knows first hand. His wife Debbie is a physicians assistant in Fossil and the driving force behind Fossil's well-known fitness program.

House District 59 has always been one of the most winnable districts east of the Cascades and it looks to be in play again this year, just as it has for the past ten years -- only more so. Boettner is a likeable, intelligent, charmastic guy who is doing his homework and is going to offer the voters of District 59 a real choice.

The Republicans are going to know they have a tiger on their hands this time. This is a race to really follow!

  • Zarathustra (unverified)

    "Let's bring Fossil back to life"! Love it.

  • (Show?)

    Thank you Jack for sharing the good news! Wheeler County Dems have great leadership.

  • Admiral Naismith (unverified)

    Always figured the Gorge would be competitive at some point. Let's make this the year.

  • Cafe Today (unverified)

    Your definition of "always winnable" is interesting.

    Huffman beat Mike Ahern by 5,000 votes in 08.

    Jim Gilbertson gave Dallum a real scare in 06, but Dallum was a bum.

    Dallum won by more than 4,000 votes in 04, and John Mabrey beat Gilbertson by 2,000 in 02, the first year of the current HD 59.

    So, "always winnable" means that the Rs have won every time...and the Ds came close one year, probably almost by mistake.

    Not saying that Huffman can't lose this year, but I think he's shown himself to be a reasonable moderate in a caucus full of wackos.

  • (Show?)

    Jack, where's the link to donate?

  • Jack Lorts (unverified)

    The 59th HD IS one of the the most winnable this side of the Cascades. It's easy to sit west of the mountains where registrations favor D's and ridicule what winnable means over here in the east. Further east of here, there are either no Democratic challengers to Republican incumbents or they often lose 30%/70%. Here in the 59th, the worst we've done since 2002 is 40%/60%. With the right guy, the right $$$, it's winnable. Boettner has a fighting spirit that may make him that guy.

    His website still isn't up, but contributions can be made to:

      Committee to Elect Will Boettner
      PO Box 253
      Fossil, OR 97830
  • Grant Schott (unverified)

    Cafe Today-

    I would point out that the D candidiates have been at a considerbale financial disadvantage in every election

    2002: Gilbertson (D) $ 7,000 Maybrey (R) $50,000

    2004: Lorts (D) $12,000 Dallum (R) $70,000

    2006: Gilbertson(D) $30,000 Dallum(R) $60,000

    2008: Ahern (D) $ 70,000 Huffman (R) $300,000

guest column

connect with blueoregon