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Bill Bradbury Brings His Campaign to Bend 

Bill Bradbury, Oregon Governor, Bend Oregon, John Kitzhaber, Deschutes Democrats, public education, measure 66, measure 67.

Sitting in a wood-and-canvas director's chair at the front of a mostly full room at the Central Oregon Environmental Center last night, former Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury introduced his campaign for governor to Bend.

Wearing a suit with a red shirt and blue tie - prototypical candidate attire - and with the Segueway he uses to get around due to his multiple sclerosis leaning against the front wall, Bradbury spoke to and fielded questions from 60-some members of the Deschutes Democrats.

Bradbury, sustaining a smile through most of the event, covered a wide range of topics including the economy, the environmental sustainability industry, the state's prison system and also gave a pitch supporting ballot measures 66 and 67, stating that if the two don't pass, the state's budget could "get ugly."

But the item that took center stage was Oregon's public education system, which Bradbury sees as in need of a serious tune up. At one point, he went as far as to say that Oregon is "blowing it" when it comes to education, citing the skyrocketing tuition costs for the state's community colleges and higher-education institutions.

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"Do we really feel right calling it a public education system? Only nine percent comes from the state, when it used to be more like 40 to 50 percent," said Bradbury.

The candidate only addressed his opponent in the Democratic primary, former Governor John Kitzhaber, when asked by one of the club members. Bradbury, who calls Kitzhaber a close friend, was largely complimentary of his opponent, but did attempt to differentiate his stance on items like the economy.

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