By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
One candidate wants the other to agree to a positive campaign pledge.
The other candidate, however, emphasizes he hasn’t been engaged in negative campaigning.
Thus goes the latest chapter in the House District 25 Republican primary contest between radio talk show host Bill Post and retired state employee Barbara Jensen.
Last week, Jensen wrote a letter to Post’s campaign about the pledge.
“As someone who cares deeply about respecting the will of voters in House District 25, I am announcing today that my campaign will take a pledge to run a positive campaign,” Jensen wrote in a letter dated May 1. “In addition, we are calling on all parties concerned with an interest in the race to join us in running a positive campaign. We, as a campaign, will actively work to ensure that no outside group runs a negative attack in this race.”
In an interview with the Keizertimes on Monday, Jensen explained her rationale behind the pledge.
“I’d been feeling it for some time to let voters hear issues and how we feel on issues,” Jensen said. “When we get wrapped around tearing each other down, it doesn’t let voters hear and do their assessment. I was hoping we could get to a better place. Let’s call a truce and move on.”
Jensen noted she hadn’t heard back from Post and was “not sure he’s receptive.”
Post told the Keizertimes on Monday that was indeed the case – but for a different reason.
“I think it’s a stunt,” Post said. “There is no negative stuff we do. I don’t dwell on my opponent. That’s not my focus. My focus is on who’s Bill. We haven’t done anything negative and we don’t intend to.
“There’s no response, really,” he added. “We’re not doing anything negative to take a pledge like that.”
The primary election is on Tuesday, May 20. In Keizer, voters can drop off their ballots in the 24-hour drop box in the parking lot at Keizer Civic Center, 930 Chemawa Road N.
Post, who works at 1430 KYKN, was at a Tea Party speech in 2009 when he decided to start his radio show.
“Something woke up in me,” he said. “I said I needed to be more involved. I started my radio show in April 2009. I’ve spent 750 hours doing that. I’ve listened, listened, listened. I said it’s time to do something further. I wanted to take this knowledge I’d gained and defend conservative values. I want to be the voice for the average person.”
Post announced his intentions to run for the seat in December, when incumbent Kim Thatcher announced her intentions to run for a state Senate seat.
Jensen said she had thought about running off and on over the years, especially after working on legislation last year to get the Spirit of ‘45 Day recognized the second Sunday of each August.
“When I worked with the legislature for the Spirit of ‘45 Day in 2013, I saw the process and dealt with legislators,” Jensen said. “I had it in the back of my mind to run. By the end of January or early February I decided I wanted to do it. The Republican Party had asked if I was interested.”
Coming next week: Jensen and Post weigh in on what they see as the main issues facing House District 25.