Cheri Helt, who currently sits on the school board for Bend-La Pine Schools, announced today that she's seeking the Republican nomination for the seat currently held by Rep. Knute Buehler. Buehler is vacating his seat to run for the Republican nomination for Oregon governor.
According to a release from Helt's campaign, Helt filed for the nomination today, though as of 4 pm Tuesday, her name had not appeared among documents filed with the Oregon Secretary of State. Helt is the owner of Zydeco Kitchen & Cocktails in downtown Bend.
Helt's announcement included an interest in focusing on high school graduation rates, teacher pension reform and health care costs as key priorities, as well as addressing housing issues that continue to plague Central Oregon.
"We all know that Bend is changing – and with growth comes both opportunities and challenges," Helt wrote in the Jan. 30 release. "Simply put, the cost of living in our community is growing out of reach for too many of our neighbors. The rising cost of housing – whether renting or owning – is a major problem for many. I’ll work with local officials and community leaders to pursue state policies to keep Bend affordable for the young and old as well as longtime residents and new arrivals experiencing the cost of living squeeze."
The representative for District 54 represents Bend in the Oregon House. Democrat Nathan Boddie, a Bend city councilor, earlier announced his bid for the Democratic nomination in the race.