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Statesman Journal mini-questionnaire for 2014 General Election

Thank you for responding to this questionnaire.

Why this matters: The Statesman Journal Editorial Board will use this questionnaire in deciding
whom to endorse for the Nov. 4 General Election. Your answers also will be shared with
reporters and probably will be published in the newspaper and/or on our website,
We also ask that you respond to every question, instead of simply attaching campaign materials,
resumes, etc. You are welcome to send us lists of supporters, a resume, etc., in addition to this
If you completed our questionnaire for the 2014 Primary Election, you will notice that some
questions are similar. (This questionnaire is shorter and several questions have been changed.)
Please complete this questionnaire instead of simply referring to past answers.
Please return the finished questionnaire to the Editorial Board as an email or an attached Word
document to (Handwritten or fax responses dont work.)
Important; Please submit the questionnaire by the deadline listed in our email to you.
Questions? Contact Editorial Page Editor Dick Hughes, 503-399-6727,, or
Editorial Assistant Nancy Harrington, 503-589-6944,
Your name as listed on the ballot: Craig Pope
Age: 58
(If your age will change before Nov. 30, please indicate your birthday. We want to ensure we use
accurate ages in pre- and post-election editorials and news coverage.)
City/town of residence: Monmouth
Political party(ies), if this is a partisan office: Non Partisan
Position you are seeking (name of position, district number, etc.): Polk County Commissioner
Are you currently a full-time resident of the district you seek you represent? Yes
Number of current, consecutive years living in the district you seek to represent: 39
Family (name of spouse/partner, number and ages of children if at home or number of grown
children): Wife; Dina, married 31 years. 4 grown children and 2 grand children
Your education (high school, trade, college, post-baccalaureate; indicate degrees you earned):
High school graduate, studies in Mechanical Engineering at OSU, Local Fire and Police
academies, Leadership training modules as County Commissioner.
If employed, current occupation, employer and job duties: Polk County Commissioner, current
Board Chair. Responsible for oversight of county policies and a budget of approximately $50
million. Legislative liaison in general state and federal issues for the Board. Federal and State
timber, Water, Regional transportation, Regional economic development, Jobs Council and
Workforce Board, Early Learning initiative, Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid systems) and Seniors
and Disability Services policies and/or Board representation.
Previous employers and when: Agriweld Inc. Owner/operator 1988-2010.
Military service and when: N/A
Volunteer/civic/religious service and when: Polk County Sheriff Reserve Academy 1982;
Philomath Oregon Reserve Police officer 2 years; Volunteer Firefighter from 1975-2003, Fire
Officer 6 of those years; Oregon Volunteer Firefighters Association 1
and 2
President2000-2003; Appointed by Polk County Commissioners to Committee for Citizen
Involvement 1998-2004, served as Chair 5 years; Chairman of the Board of Willamette Valley
Ag Expo 2000-2010; Associated Oregon Industries Employment Practices Committee member
2009-2010; Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce 2011-current; Monmouth-Independence
Chamber of Commerce 2011-current; Salem Chamber of Commerce 2011-current; West Salem
Business Association 2011-current; West Salem Little League sponsor 2012-current; West
Valley Kiwanis 2011-2013;
Please list all public offices to which youve been elected, and when: Polk County Commissioner
#2 in 2010; Polk County Fire District No.1 Board 2003-2007; Polk County Republican Precinct
Committee person 2008, 2010, 2012.
Please list any unsuccessful candidacies for public office, and when: Oregon State
Representative House District 23 primary 2008; Central 13j School Board 2009.
Other prior political and government experience: I have an extensive resume of committee work,
appointments and Board activities for various public and non-profit organizations as County
Commissioner; Luckiamute Domestic Water Coop Board 2005-2011. Served as Vice President;
Americans for Prosperity, Polk County Chair 2009.
How the public can reach your campaign (remember that this information may be made public):
Mail address: 15040 Airlie Rd. Monmouth Or. 97361
E-mail address:
Web site URL:
Phone: 503-838-6444
Please limit your response to each of the following questions to about 75 words.
1. To an outsider, how would you describe the region you wish to represent -- geographically,
economically, politically and socially?
Polk County has an agriculture and forest industry base with some manufacturing, education and
service jobs. Many residents commute to jobs outside the county. The economy of Polk County
is stable with growth slower than some neighboring counties which makes the area desirable for
raising families and enjoying a more rural lifestyle. Generally the population of Polk County
seems to be politically and socially moderate.
2. What are the positives and negatives of this region (district, county or state) that you wish to
represent? A positive is that we have a beautiful county that has more than half of it covered in
trees. A negative is that those trees are what once helped pay our bills. A positive is that we have
some of the most productive farm lands in the world. The negative is that our ag and timber
lands are not zoned for industrial or commercial activities like some of our neighboring counties.
3. What specific skills and experiences do you bring to the position that would help turn those
negatives into positives? A) I have been engaged in state and federal timber policy since my
second month on the job as Commissioner and have been intimately involved in helping set the
standards for a 21
century timber management plan for all Oregon counties. B) I have spent
most of my adult life working in Oregon agriculture and owned and operated a small
manufacturing company in Polk County for nearly 23 years.
5. What separates you from your opponent(s)? Be specific. I have training and experience in the
job that is critical to keeping Polk County solvent, efficient and responsive. I am proven,
dedicated, and successful in my job and am part of a team of Commissioners that work very well
together. My opponent has not been to a Board of Commissioners meeting since I was elected.
How could he possibly know what it takes to do my job?
6. Please list five specific accomplishments that you have achieved in politics or civic affairs:
Just since January 2011: 1) I took office of Polk County Commissioner where I get to be a
member of a team that has responsibility to manage county government for 78,000 people.
2) I have been appointed twice during my first term as Commissioner by Governor Kitzhaber to
the Regional Solutions Advisory Council representing Polk County and the Mid Willamette
Valley in economic development conflict resolution process.
3) I have been appointed by Governor Kitzhaber to serve on the SB264 Task Force on (ODOT)
Access Management. I co-chair that committee with Senator Betsy Johnson.
4) I have been elected by my Commissioner peers in 17 counties to serve on the Board of
Association of O&C Counties for the past three years to represent them in federal forest policy.
5) I have been elected by my Commissioner peers in 15 counties to serve as the Vice Chair of the
Council of Forest Trust Land Counties to represent them in state forest land policy.
My list could go on.
7. How much will your General Election campaign cost (be specific)? 12-15,000
8. Have you ever been convicted of a crime, been disciplined by a professional licensing
board/organization or had an ethics violation filed against you? If so, please give the details. No.
9. Have you ever filed for bankruptcy, been delinquent on your taxes or other major accounts, or
been sued personally or professionally? If so, please give the details. No.
10. What are the three most important issues you would address if elected, and how? (75 words
for each issue)
A. The biggest issue facing Polk County government is still declining revenue and increased
costs of doing business that affects the ability to maintain a service delivery level adequate for
the growing population of Polk County. I am committed to supporting a public safety tax levy
while we pursue the federal obligations that are unmet and alternative tax revenues to make up
for timber taxes that once paid the bills.
B. I have always been dedicated to the business community and spend a fair amount of my time
participating in economic development interests and workforce development tasks. I have built
relationships in the region that have and will continue to pay off for my constituents in this arena.
My business ownership past gives me the credibility needed to fully represent those interests,
and I do all I can to be active in business recruitment and retention.
C. Having a credible working relationship with legislators, local leaders and key association
members that make up the decision making bodies of Oregon government is paramount in
negotiating the delivery and protecting the integrity of local government systems. I am deeply
invested in the appropriate networks to accommodate those relationships and intend to continue
to grow them further in the hope that Polk County can benefit from those relationships.
11. What do you see as other important issues? A) Continuing to represent Polk County citizens
in major transportation infrastructure investments and planning. I have demonstrated an
understanding of the complexity of the system and enjoy representing my constituents in this
venue. B) Water resources are a major issue in the Willamette Valley, and I am on the front
lines with the Association of Oregon Counties and the Oregon Water Resources Department
working on legislative fixes and place-based planning opportunities to meet growth needs
beyond 2050.
12. Any skeletons in your closet or other potentially embarrassing information that you should
disclose before it comes up in the campaign? Anything (including health issues) that would
affect your ability to serve your full term? Any changes in your life situation that are
contemplated or expected before the election or before you would take office?
No to all of those questions.
Thank you. Please return this questionnaire to the Editorial Board as an attached Word document to by the requested deadline.