Casey Roats | Local News | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
The Source Weekly’s reporting is made possible by the power of your support. Be a part of it!
Search
Settings
Pin It
Favorite

Casey Roats 

The next-generation working class conservative

As anyone who followed his campaign likely knows, Casey Roats has deep roots in the local community. As we sit in the McMenamins pub, he explains that he actually attended the Old St. Francis School for part of high school, and served as an altar boy at the nearby Catholic church.

"This was the principal's office," he says, pointing across the room filled with lunch patrons. Roats says that, despite his time spent in the hot seat during the Council race, he doesn't recall visiting the principal's office as a youngster. Instead, he was busy with Future Farmers of America (serving as the state vice president), participating on speech team and competing in rodeos as a team roper.

It was at St. Francis, he explains, that he got his first taste of economic diversity, studying alongside students from a wide range of backgrounds.

"It was a melting pot," Roats says, recalling making friends across class spectrums.

His grandparents were among the lumber industry folks who once predominated Bend. But they didn't work for one of the big outfits. Instead, he explains, they were what people called "gyppo loggers," meaning that they ran their own modest logging company with a handful of employees.

They also founded a small water utility company—Roats Water Systems. The operation was just big enough to support his parents' family, Casey says, and it has had sufficient recent growth to take the younger Roats under its employ as well. He makes clear that the family business isn't making anyone rich, and points out that most of the water utility's customers are at or below the median wage.

Still, his long history in the community and business ownership contributes to the oft-repeated perception that Roats is a "good ol' boy."

But it's a perception he contests. Roats describes himself as "glorified blue collar," noting that most days, he wears Carhartt pants and boots while driving his 1984 work pickup. Yes, he belongs to a golf and country club, but only because it offers a cheaper gym membership than the Bend Park & Rec-run Juniper Swim and Fitness. He doesn't play golf, but he does occasionally take a trip to Arizona to relive his team roping days with friends.

Roats may be a country mouse, but he's spent some time in the city. Specifically, in the nation's capital as an intern for recently re-elected Rep. Greg Walden, where Roats apparently made quite the impression. At the end of his internship in 2002, Walden entered a glowing tribute to Roats into the record, calling him "a son of the American west" who "exudes competence" and "ranks among the finest items [sic] ever to serve in my congressional office."

Though Roats cut short his college education to help out with the family business, he's now getting a real life education in the subjects he once studied—business management and politics.

About The Author

Erin Rook

Erin is the Source Weekly's Associate Editor. Before moving to Bend in 2013, Erin worked as a writer and editor for publications in Portland including PQ Monthly and Just Out. He has also written for the Willamette Week, El Hispanic News, Travel Portland, OUT City, Boston magazine and the Taunton Daily Gazette...
Pin It
Favorite

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri
4 Weekends Only Data Analytics Training Course in Bend

4 Weekends Only Data Analytics Training Course in Bend - IT Training Center

Sat., Nov. 28, 7:30 a.m.
Submitting an event is free and easy.

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Get Social


Latest in Local News

More by Erin Rook

Want to advertise with us?

For info on print and digital advertising, >> Click Here

© 2020 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation