File photo

File photo

Longtime Keizer resident and Salem-Keizer School Board vice chairman Chuck Lee announced his candidacy for Oregon State Representative on Wednesday, March 12.

“I am committed to growing Oregon’s economic vitality,” said Lee, president of the Mountain West Career and Technical Institute. “With strategic investment and innovative public private partnerships we can develop a workforce that is so highly skilled and trained that our state becomes a magnet for new businesses and supports existing regional industry.”

Lee, who will run as an independent, seeks to fill the seat currently held by Rep. Kim Thatcher, who is running for state Senate. Bill Post and Barbara Jensen have previously announced their candidacy to run as Republicans.

“My non-partisan experience the last 14 years serving on the Keizer City Council and the Salem-Keizer School Board has shown me that when we can remove a pre-disposed definition of values and votes, we build a strong foundation for transparent and honest conversation and sound decision making,” Lee said.

As the former president of Blanchet Catholic School, Lee states his main priorities are rooted in his experience working with educators, children and their families, elected officials, community leaders and businesses that are committed to an Oregon that thrives and comes together in spite of tough economic challenges. He helped build Blanchet into a school that graduates 95 percent of students onto four year colleges.

“When leadership is so focused on partisan infighting that results in gridlock they can’t effectively identify priorities, solve problems and seize opportunities,” Lee said. “I believe our problems can be solved with hard work and the courage to compromise.”

The District 25 seat covers Keizer, St. Paul and Newberg. Lee, a father and grandfather of nine, lives in Keizer with his wife Krina, the executive director of the Salem-Keizer Education Foundation.

“My parents were foster parents,” Lee said. “I grew up with nearly 50 brothers and sisters with 50 different journeys. I know that successful pathways take empathy, patience and humility. These values will guide my service to the great people of District 25 and all Oregonians.”