By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
Dave McCall is one of the much-maligned California transplants that now call Oregon home. But, after more than 20 years as a Keizer resident, the Democratic challenger to Rep. Bill Post said his views have been shaped as much by this city as the one in which he was born.
“People are more relaxed here and want a relaxed lifestyle. There is a desire for a not-too-complex life that I enjoy,” McCall said.
McCall is unchallenged in the Democratic primary for Oregon House District 25, which means he will square off against Post in November for the seat.
McCall worked in armed security for almost two decades when his job as a manager was eliminated in a reorganization. In the wake of that upheaval, McCall enrolled at Western Oregon University intending to study history, but political science became his passion.
Despite the unexpected switch in careers, McCall said his time as a manager helped him focus on problem-solving.
“I’ve met Bill and he’s a nice guy, but I would rather try to solve the problem than rely on an ideology that says this has got to be the answer. He’s so proud of pushing the “No” button. Does that solve the problem? Sometime it does, sometimes it doesn’t,” McCall said.
District 25 encompasses all of Keizer and Newberg, and McCall said one of his most frequent questions is what the two cities have in common. The answer, he said, lies in his platform, which focuses on three areas: businesses, the environment, and education.
“I may be a Democrat, but I believe in commerce. We can create advantages for our businesses to compete in marketplace in the state and the country and the rest of the world,” he said.
Bolstering infrastructure from roads to rails and ports is one way to begin to tackle some of the underlying issues, he added.
He also sees opportunity to merge efforts in business and lessen environmental impacts.
“There is closed a factory just south of Newberg. That land is doing nothing. Why can’t we help the owner to convert it to an energy plant? Why can’t we do something with it other than sit and let it rust?” McCall said. “Why not get together with the owner and say this is how the government can help you if you’re willing.”
On the issue of education, McCall said he is supporting the bond measure voters will weigh in on next week, but that he wants to revisit the way state revenues are shared with school districts. He is still working out the details, but “in exchange for a portion of property taxes school districts collect, the state will share its revenue and stabilize funding.”
“I supported (the bond), but I can see why others wouldn’t. Education is important to everyone whether you have kids or not,” he said.
McCall attended a recent town hall hosted by Post and Sen. Kim Thatcher in Keizer. During the meeting, Post supported enlisting a legion of volunteer ex-military and ex-police officers to provide security on school campuses.
McCall’s views on school security are shaped by his background. As a private security manager, he needed to be certified as an unarmed guard, an armed guard, a trainer and manager.
“I want to make sure that whoever is on campus with a gun has been trained to the highest standard,” McCall said. “Why would we, society, ask people to volunteer to do something that should be a paid, professional position?”
For more information on McCall and his campaign, visit friendsofdavemccall.nationbuilder.com