Voters in Lakeview and southern Lake County will have their first chance to meet Kerry McQuisten — one of candidates running to replace outgoing Oregon Gov. Kate Brown — on Tuesday, Oct. 19 at the Lakeview Elks Lodge beginning at 6 p.m.

The event will be a meet and greet, where McQuisten will talk about her experience and why she is running for governor and then take questions from those attending the event.

McQuisten was elected to the Baker City Council in 2020, and was elected by the City Council to the position of mayor. She gained the national attention of conservative news sites when she led the Baker City Council in passing a resolution in early 2020 against Brown’s COVID restrictions and mandates at the time. She was interviewed on national television and other national media channels, and she said from there it snowballed into people asking her to run for governor.

McQuisten is a seventh generation Oregonian and grew up in the Baker City area where her family still runs a cattle ranching operation. After college she was involved in publishing and marketing in Japan and the Seattle area.

“People who grew up in Baker City tend to move back after awhile, and that is what I did after working my way up the corporate ladder,” said McQuisten.

She then started her own publishing company — Black Lyon Publishing LLC — when she moved back to Baker City; the company publishes mostly travel and true crime books.

With Brown termed out, the race to replace her has opened up the field to a number of entrants on both the Republican and Democratic side. McQuisten was one of the first Republicans to throw her hat into the ring, and one of the few from eastern Oregon to announce that they will be running.

“The fact is I want Oregon back from the control of the supermajority the Democrats have in the Oregon Legislature. I have learned the only way to change the system is by being in Salem,” said McQuisten.

She said that during her travels across Oregon during her candidacy she has met a number of Republicans, libertarians and others who have told her that they are willing to support her because they are tired and fed up with the way things are going.

“I would not have entered this race if I did not think I would have a chance to win,” said McQuisten. “I have run the numbers and if I get the people of the Second Congressional District to come out and vote for me then I stand a good chance of winning.”

She said people have told her they feel that their votes do not count and their voices are not heard, which is one of the reasons she said that people do not turn in their ballots.

Even though the field is getting more crowded by the week, McQuisten said she stands out from the rest of the Republican candidates on several key issues.

“I am the only candidate with mayoral experience. I am the only candidate that was born and raised in Oregon. I am the only candidate who is a lifelong Republican. And I am the only candidate that is not a serial candidate for governor,” said McQuisten.

She said that many of the Republican candidates are not really true conservatives and many of them are pro-choice, while she is staunchly pro-life.

McQuisten said there is an urban-rural divide in Oregon and that the long tension between the two sides of the state has led to the growth of the Greater Idaho Movement.

“The Greater Idaho Movement shows how unhappy the people of eastern Oregon are right now,” said McQuisten. “We need someone in leadership who can bridge the divide between urban and rural; and someone who has spent time in eastern Oregon and understands its issues.”

So far the following candidates are running for the Republican nomination: McQuisten, Bridget Barton, Angelique Bouvier, Mark Duncan, John Fosdick III, Jessica Gomez, Nick Hess, Jim Huggins, Brandon Merritt, Bud Pierce, Stan Pullman, Amber Richardson, Paul Romero and Marc Thielman.

The primary is scheduled for Tuesday, May 17, 2022.

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