Salem residents have an opportunity this week to hear firsthand from two candidates vying to represent much of the city in the state Senate.
Salem Sen. Deb Patterson (D), who currently holds the District 10 seat, and Rep. Raquel Moore-Green (R), who represents House District 19, will attend an in-person debate hosted by the Salem City Club on Friday.
“This is a really critical race,” said Salem City Club President Ron Eachus. “It’s a target for both Democrats and Republicans. It’s considered one of the crucial swing races.”
Eachus said it has been somewhat difficult for organizations like the city club to get political candidates to agree to debate, so this will be an important opportunity for the public to hear what each has to say. Both candidates are also members of the Salem City Club, Eachus said.
The debate will be held at the Willamette Heritage Center at 12 p.m. as the club’s fall opening program, and will be the first in-person event the City Club has had since Covid hit two years ago.
“Particularly for the political races, we think it’s nice to be able to be in person – to actually see the speakers and also give our members a chance to socialize and exchange views again, rather than just viewing that as a webinar,” he said.
The candidates will be asked questions on many local issues, such as healthcare, housing and homelessness.
“Then, you know, the degree of working across the aisle or reducing the level of political rhetoric are also concerns,” Eachus said. “That’s really one of the reasons the City Club exists, is to try and have not only programs on civic issues but being able to conduct them in a civil manner.”
Senators in Oregon serve four-year terms. Senate District 10 includes south and west Salem, parts of Four Corners and unincorporated east Salem, as well as Monmouth, Independence, Turner and Aumsville.
Those interested can register for the event at salemcityclub.com. Meetings are free for members and $5 for nonmembers.
Election Day is Nov. 8, and Oregonians have until Oct. 18 to register to vote.
Contact reporter Jordyn Brown at [email protected].
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