Incumbents in a race typically have an advantage for a number of reasons—name recognition, yes, but also, if they're doing the work that voters sent them to do, it's difficult for a newcomer to gain an advantage. In the race for Oregon House District 54, Republican challenger Judy Trego can't exactly be deemed a newcomer, having been the chief of staff for an Oregon legislator as well as being a former constituent services staffer for Rep. Greg Walden, and while we respect her lifetime of service, the incumbent in this race is doing exactly what we sent him to Salem to do.
In his two years as representative for HD 54, then-freshman Democrat Jason Kropf brought a lot of dollars home to Central Oregon, focused in some important areas. Two-ish years ago, Central Oregon struggled to cobble together a winter warming shelter every winter. Now, due to funding supported by Kropf, Bend has a full-time low-barrier shelter on Second Street. Not only that, but it's also become a navigation center that helps people experiencing homelessness access services, due to another bill co-sponsored by Kropf. He's also advocated for the Joint Office on Homelessness, a pilot project that brings local governments together to address the issue of houselessness not just here, but statewide. He's also been instrumental in getting the Stevens Road tract project approved, with 20 acres of it earmarked for affordable housing, and 6 of those set aside for housing for educators, he said. On top of that, he was a sponsor of the bipartisan bill that established the Oregon Department of Early Learning and Care, a result of which was around $8 million in vouchers for Central Oregon child care centers to help them grow their businesses.
On gun safety, Kropf supports Measure 114; Trego has reservations. On abortion, Kropf vows to keep care safe, accessible and affordable; Trego, who's pro-life, feels the Supreme Court's decision was just and that Oregon should increase its support services for alternatives to abortion.
In this race, we see no reason to replace Kropf. He's been a strong advocate for Central Oregon and has the ability to work across the aisle in support of the most crucial needs for his district. Vote Jason Kropf for Oregon House District 54.