Democratic candidate for the 28th Senate District in the Oregon legislature Hugh Palcic spoke to voters in Lakeview on Thursday, July 23.
Palcic, who was general manager of the Sunriver Resort south of Bend, said his strengths include his experience working for politicians at the state level in New York, and then having positions on the Deschutes County Planning Commission and representing eastern Oregon on the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC).
“Humanity has been something that has been lost with the party divisions that have been happening and that is something I want to change,” said Palcic.
Palcic noted that even though he grew up in New York, he grew up in upstate New York on a 200-acre horse farm where he was around guns and learned about responsible gun ownership.
Palcic was critical of his opponent Dennis Linthicum and how he was able to obtain his seat. He said that Linthicum was ignoring his district after he got elected, and has rarely said anything during his time in office about the different policies that affect Oregon and the 28th Senate District, and has not released any statements in support of Warner Creek Correctional Facility or anything else.
“In many key indicators the 28th District is at the bottom of the state, and that Linthicum is not really trying to improve things in Salem,” said Palcic.
He believes that having the same party in control of the district has made the Republican party complacent, and that it is time for new ideas to represent the people of the 28th District in Salem.
One area that Palcic plans to focus on if he gets elected is investing more in rural broadband to help bridge the digital divide that is affecting the state. Many people in rural areas struggle to access high speed broadband that is both reliable and affordable. Palcic said that if people east of the Cascades are going to compete for the next generation of jobs, and children are to receive education, then it is time to invest in broadband, which he said has been ignored by the current office holder.
“Eastern Oregon is a launching pad for rural Oregon. We are sitting on a vast untapped potential and we could have clout in Salem with the right investments,” said Palcic.
He told the audience a story of when he worked in the New York State Senate, noting the legislators of western New York banded together to get what they wanted from the rest of the state because they were able to use their clout over alternative energy sources. Palcic said that eastern Oregon needs to tap into the alternative energy sources it has at its disposal and use that clout to have a better seat at the table in Salem.
When asked about cap-and-trade, he called it cap-and-invest. Palcic said there needs to be a dividend payment made to those counties that have worked to reduce their carbon footprint through renewable energy investments. They should be paid a dividend from those areas that pay under the cap-and-trade scheme.
Palcic was critical of Democrats in Salem that have never visited rural Oregon to see what things are really like, and said he would be a guiding voice leading lawmakers from western and urban Oregon on visits to the region to give them a sense of what things are like on the ground.
“Problems are not just democratic or republican problems, they are problems for all constituents and I want to help solve them,” said Palcic.
He said that many times legislative leaders view problems as either a Democratic or Republican issue, ignoring the fact that problems such as poor roads, internet, and schools affect all voters no matter what party they are in.
The 28th Senate District encompasses North Lake and southwestern Lake County, all of Klamath and Crook counties along with parts of Deschutes and Jackson counties.
For more information contact the Palcic campaign at email@example.com.