Our series of Candidate Conversations continues with a look at Oregon’s Office of the State Treasurer which is responsible for managing 68 billion taxpayer dollars. The Treasurer also issues state bonds, serves as the central bank for the state, serves on the State Land Board and administers Oregon’s 529 College Savings Network. As Oregon struggles with financial crisis, incumbent Democratic candidate Ted Wheeler and his Republican opponent Chris Telfer are campaigning on their financial expertise.
Ted Wheeler was appointed State Treasurer by Governor Kulongoski last March after the death of Treasurer Ben Westlund. Wheeler touts that since taking office he has reformed the travel policy by Treasury’s investment managers, relaunched Oregon’s college savings program and supported timber harvests on state lands. Prior to becoming State Treasurer, Wheeler was chairman of Multnomah County.
Chris Telfer points to her credentials as a certified public accountant for nearly 30 years as a uniquely valuable asset for becoming the cheif financial officer of the state. Telfer, a resident of Bend, is a small business owner, and is currently serving her first term as the Republican State Senator for District 27 where her healthcare bill passed unanimously in both House and Senate.
Why do the candidates want this job? What issues matter the most to you in deciding who will get your vote? What questions would you like to ask these candidates?