Oregon Republican candidate for governor Bob Tiernan answers OPB’s questions

By OPB staff (OPB)
April 13, 2022 9 a.m.

OPB asked all 34 candidates seeking the Republican or Democratic nomination for governor to answer some basic questions on the issues. Below are responses from Bob Tiernan, a Republican. These answers have not been edited.

Bob Tiernan, Oregon Republican candidate for governor.

Bob Tiernan, Oregon Republican candidate for governor.

courtesy of the Bob Tiernan campaign

To start, please give us your name and basic biographical details, including your current position or job, any elected offices you have held and any key facts you would like voters to know about you.


Occupation: Business Management Consultant, Attorney, Father and Grandfather

Occupational Background: Business Executive, Grocery Outlet President, Small Business Owner and Consultant, Commander US Navy, Oregon Republican Party Chairman.

Educational Experience: Georgetown University Law School (Masters), Seattle University Law School (JD), Oregon State University (BS), US Navy (courses).

Prior Governmental Experience: State Representative 1992-1997 AN EFFECTIVE SKILLFUL LEADER- DELIVERING RESULTS, NOT EXCUSES.

Family: Married, three adult children, seven grandchildren (so far!). Three brothers, parents in their 90′s.

Why should you be Oregon’s next governor?

1. Oregon faces serious problems, and our career politicians are not solving them—in fact they are making them worse:

• Out of control crime, lawlessness, and riots, • Homeless campers on our streets and in our neighborhoods • Schools failing our children • Government waste and no accountability

I will solve our state’s problems and bring positive RESULTS for Oregonians – without the old, tired excuses we hear year after year on why something can’t be fixed. I have a solid track record of running and turning around large multi-million-dollar businesses (much like state agencies) with thousands of employees---fixing problems and getting results. As a Commander in the Navy, excuses were unacceptable, I always got the job done. As a legislator, I delivered results for our citizens. As Chairman of the Crimes and Corrections Committee, we made Oregon safer. And when the legislature failed to act, I sponsored statewide ballot measures to crack down on violent crime. Again, I produced results. That’s what I have always done in my business, military, and public service. We need a governor that can fix what’s broken in our state--- rampant CRIME, HOMELESSNESS, small businesses shutting down from overregulation and students struggling to get an education in our schools --- just to name a few. I am running to get RESULTS and to FIX THE PROBLEMS. I have done if before and can do it again.

What do you think is the most pressing challenge facing Oregon today?

1. Lack of leadership. Our Political leaders not solving our states problems.

2. Out of control crime and lawlessness

3. Resolving the homeless crisis and getting the homeless campers into sanitary shelters and off our sidewalks, and out of our parks, highways and neighborhoods and other public areas.

What is your proposed solution to that problem? Please be specific.

1. Leadership – Elect people with proven leadership and problem solving experience.

2. Crime: Enforce our current criminal laws and support our criminal justice system. Arrest law breakers; prosecute them, if found guilty, sentence them according to Oregon laws. Hire more police officers. Support law enforcement. Stop letting convicted felons out of prison and jail early. Hold prosecutors and judges accountable.

3. Homeless: Short term plan-- immediately build temporary housing as our military and national guard does in times of emergency, give the homeless notice that they need to move off the public property, and if they don’t within the required notice period, move them off the street, and out of our parks, neighborhoods, and other public areas to the temporary built housing. Long term plan: Appoint a 6-8 person “action team” to recommend the long term solution based upon experts and what has worked in other areas. Must have a timetable, actionable milestones and a timeline for implementation. Must have performance, leadership and milestone assessments, budgetary oversight and financial and performance accountability.

Do you believe human beings are playing a part in rising temperatures?


Do you think Oregon should take additional steps to address climate change? If so, what are some specific efforts you’d undertake or push for as governor?

Oregon can take steps to help reduce the impact of warming the planet. At the same time, we must be careful of the unintended consequences of Government actions on Oregonians livelihoods, pocket books, the ability to heat their homes, travel and enjoy their lives. I do not support drastic actions like “Cap and Trade”. But I do support helping our environment but taking preventative measure to STOP wild fires and encourage the use of electric vehicles and conservation measures.

Oregon has experienced a high number of severe wildfires in recent years. What role should state government play in wildfire response?

We need to do all we can as a State to prevent wildfires. Cleaning the forest floor from kindling that creates fires and feeds them when they get started. Pre-positioning and forward deploy fire equipment and people to quickly put out fires from lightening and other causes. Invest in early warning fire technology and predictive software. Invest in contracting ahead of time for more planes and helicopters with dumping buckets to quickly put out fires. Forward deploy those planes/ helicopters so they are close to the predicted / potential wildfire areas. Preventing forest fires in an investment in our rural communities, our environment and our park lands.

Parts of Oregon now routinely face drought conditions. What role should state government play in preventing and responding to droughts?

Look for opportunities to prevent dam destruction and build more reservoirs. Encourage conservation, such as tax credits for water recovery from residential or commercial roofs. For our coastal communities look for opportunities to build salinization plants, if needed. Bottom line, there is a lot we can do.

Do you support the use of body cameras by police officers to record their interactions with the public? Please explain why or why not.

YES. Police body cameras protect police, help our criminal justice system and protect the public. The police body cameras protect the police from frivolous and false statements regarding the exercise of their authority or their personal conduct. They help our criminal justice system by providing critical evidence to our juries and prosecutors to make sure justice is being served. They protect the public by adding accountability to police conduct and proper implementation of law enforcement policy. It is a win, win, win policy.

President Joe Biden signaled in his State of the Union address that he wants to increase funding for police. Do you agree or disagree?


In surveys, Oregonians on both the right and the left described political extremism as one of the biggest challenges facing the state. Do you agree with them? If yes, please describe the type of extremism that concerns you and what you would do as governor to address it.

YES. Extremism is when ANY group, political, social or other --- attempt to protest their beliefs through lawlessness --- including ---violence, riots, vandalism, destruction of property, assaults, threats, intimidations, etc. It cannot be tolerated and our State and local governments have an obligation to STOP it and to keep the public safe. Period.


In surveys, Oregonians consistently rate homelessness and high housing costs as a major problem facing the state. What role do you believe state government should play in addressing these interconnected problems?

Homelessness is a multifaceted problem. There are no easy answers, but there are answers. Allowing the homeless to live on the street in squalor, is not being kind compassionate or understanding --- and is NOT part of an answer. The homeless deserve better. At least a temporary roof over their heads, bathrooms and some health services. Allowing the homeless to live on our streets is allowing one big problem, to create several more HUGE problems. Unsanitary conditions, diseases, pestilence, ruining our public thoroughfares, public gathering places, small businesses and turning our clean communities into third world looking landscapes. Homeless camping in our streets and neighborhoods cannot be tolerated. It must stop. See above for solutions.

The role state government has played in the past has been a big part of the problem; too much regulation, too many fees, too much restriction on the availability of land—all driving up the cost of affordable housing which has in turn created more homeless individuals in Oregon. State government should reduce its role, allowing the private sector and non-profit organizations to step up. Government leaders can make housing more affordable by studying and listening to builders and contractors to the factors that are driving the cost of low income housing up, and then attacking those problems to drive down the costs.

Would you support requiring people experiencing homelessness to stay in shelters if adequate shelter space exists?


Oregon’s high school graduation rate continues to lag behind other states. What are specific actions you would take as governor to improve student performance?

We need to offer our students and parents more educational choices, such as: Charter schools, private schools, homeschooling, trade schools, online schools and vouchers. Parents should have the final say in their children’s learning. Parents know what is best for their children’s needs. Public schools should be supported, but giving parents choices and instilling a “competition” among different school options would help our children experience the best education possible. Lastly, public schools need to focus on the basics, set high standards and keep politics, social issues and political correctness – out of the class rooms.

Oregon, like much of the rest of the nation, has a child care crisis. What role should the governor play in this situation, and what are specific steps you would take as governor?

Parents are in charge of their children’s child care and having the government take a more active role is a scary proposition to me! What can government do to help parents with child care? Offer tax breaks and credits for parents who seek or need child care. The pandemic did hit the child care profession hard. I would support ideas from the private sector child care industry to get more high-quality trained individual certified and working in the field. I would work with the legislature to explore and additional funds that might be necessary to help those families most in need of support.

Do public employee unions have too much influence in Oregon? If you answer yes, please tell us which unions in particular concern you.



2. Teachers’ Unions in Oregon (OEA-Oregon Education Association & AFT - Oregon American Federation of Teachers)

3. Unions Not Concerning me: Oregon’s Police and Fire Fighters Union(s), Building Trades unions, and Private Sector Unions.

As governor, would you support the creation of campaign finance limits in Oregon? If no, please explain why not. If yes, please can us specifics on what limits you would endorse.

Yes. As long as all major interest groups are treated the same: Business, Unions, Special Interest Lobbying groups and political parties. We must be careful not to give one interest group an advantage

Do you believe Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election?


Would you support creation of a sales tax in Oregon?


Do you support the use of tolls to help pay for infrastructure constructions in the Portland region, including a replacement for the Interstate 5 bridge?


If the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, would you as governor push for new abortion restrictions in Oregon? If yes, please specify what type of restriction you would propose.

Oregon allows abortions up to the point of birth. I don’t agree with that. I am pro-life and believe we need to protect the unborn.

How would you describe the relationship between rural and urban Oregon today?

Not good. Our current politicians seem to think that Portland is the center of the universe and that the rest of Oregon really doesn’t exist. This lack of understanding of the differences around our State is creating divisions. We all need to realized, especially our elected leaders, that Southern Oregon, Coastal Oregon, Central Oregon, Eastern Oregon,--- and all the parts in-between ---- each has their own needs, wants, problems and solutions. Our State government must serve ALL OREGONIANS. We are one State and one Team. A problem in Fossil, Brookings, Klamath falls or Joseph, Oregon ---- is and should be a problem ---for ALL OF US.

What’s one thing you would do as governor to bring rural and urban Oregon together?

Understand that every part of Oregon is a little different ---and to help Oregonians wherever they may live to be safe and thrive in their community. To that end.... as Governor, I would pledge to set up my office, for two weeks at a time, in four different geographical areas in Oregon ---each year. That way, I would experience FIRST HAND, the needs, wants problems and challenges of all Oregonians. And all Oregonians would have a chance to interact with the Governor.

What’s the best thing Kate Brown has done as Oregon governor?

Create enough frustration and anger that perhaps a new governor will be elected that will turn the tide of mismanagement, failed policies and inaction to reduce homelessness, crime, and create a positive economic environment for businesses to prosper in Oregon. I plan to be that new governor.”

What’s the worst thing Kate Brown has done as Oregon governor?

Let prisoners out of our State prisons with commutations, clemency and corona virus excuses ---

increasing crime, making Oregonians feel less safe and creating fear for victims that now have to re-experience their personal tragedies.

Name another Oregon leader, either current or in the past, whose approach to public policy you admire and why.

Victor Atiyeh – Oregon’s 32 Governor 1979-1987. A leader who was kind, thoughtful, smart, a successful businessman, family man--- who knew how to solve problems and cared deeply about our State.