Election 2022: State Senate District 6 Candidates

State Senate District 6 Candidates


Cedric Hayden, 54, Republican

Residence/Family: Longtime resident of Lane County. Wife Julie and five kids.
Education: Doctor of Dental Surgery, University of Missouri – Kansas City
Professional Background/Work Experience: Dentist who has operated “a large rural dental practice, including hospital dentistry.” With wife, started Caring Hands Worldwide, doing global non-profit dentistry around the world with a local mobile unit for serving patients without dental access in Oregon. Also operates heavy equipment company that does wildland firefighting.
Political Experience/Affiliations: Served in the Oregon Legislature for nearly eight years in the House of Representatives. Currently serving as vice-chair of House Committee on Health Care and the COVID-19 Committee, as well on the budget committee that deals with health and human services. Serves on a variety of health care task forces as well, related to the legislative work to expand access to Medicaid.
For More Info: www.haydenfororegon.com

Ashley Pelton, 33, Democrat

Residence/Family: Resident of area since summer of 2020. Been together with husband Michael for 10 years. They have son, Jordy, 1. Michael is physician’s assistant. Father is retired law enforcement officer, Army war veteran. Pelton says his experience of “falling through the cracks of Oregon’s broken mental health system” is what prompted her to run for office.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in neurobiology, physiology and behavior at University of California Davis, Master of Social Work at Pacific University, LMSW.
Professional Background/Work Experience: Campaign Coordinator for Clean Slate Oregon (Justice Reform); Support Staff for Adults with Disabilities; EMT; Eye/Tissue/Organ Donation Specialist; Case Manager; Ballot Initiative Coordinator.
Political Experience/Affiliations: Cross-Nominated in general election with Independent Party and Working Families Party; 2020 National Delegate; National Committee Person for a Caucus; Precinct Committee Person.
Other Community Involvement/Affiliations: National Association of Social Workers Legislative Committee; Lane County Independent Redistricting Committee
Contact: [email protected]
For More Info : (website/Facebook/etc.) | AshleyPelton.com | Facebook.com/PeltonForOregon


Describe your view of the proper role of government under the U.S. and Oregon
constitutions and how you, as a state representative, would carry out your
responsibilities as a legislator.

Cedric Hayden: My view is that our first role as legislators is to uphold the oath office we take. That means following our constitutionals, and upholding the will of voters in voter-approved measures. It’s the lens I’ve used in decision-making since I was first elected and will continue to use.

Ashley Pelton: The proper role of government is to act as a resource to the people and to effectively advocate for the needs of communities. It is imperative that state representatives listen to constituents and prioritize people over party. Locals know best what they need and legislators should work closely with city councils, county commissioners and community leaders to help achieve short- and long-term goals for individuals and the community at large. More specifically, rural legislators must be able to pass strong rural legislation, requiring one to work collaboratively across both major parties.

What do you see as the biggest challenges facing Oregon in the area of budget/state finances and what solutions would you propose to address those?

Ashley Pelton: There are numerous organizations trying to accomplish the same goals who are funded through the state budget. We need to streamline services in order to remove redundant costs, so we may use those funds to fill gaps in essential services. Many of our programs and services are disjointed and don’t collaborate well enough to identify and address where time and money can be saved. These funds can be utilized to help essential government services adapt to address the unmet needs of the community. Additionally, we need to trim the fat; we shouldn’t be spending our budget and resources on unnecessary middlemen.

Cedric Hayden: Health care accounts for roughly 34% of every dollar that flows through the state. If voters approve M111, it will be a budget buster and we’ll need to really dig down into how to make sure we give people the access they need without bankrupting the state.

What do you see as the biggest challenges facing Oregon in the area of education and what solutions would you propose to address those?

Cedric Hayden: Families need more choice. We know that kids are years now behind in their learning, and we need more individualized options to help student catch back up. We have to get back to doing testing – not to teach to the test, but to use testing metrics to individualize learning plans so students can succeed. And kids who are more academically proficient, let’s make sure we keep them engaged at the highest academic levels to which they are capable.

Ashley Pelton: Political ideology has entered into the K-12 system, but it is unclear exactly what this looks like, which is causing families to feel insecure about the quality of their children’s education. We need to have more transparency around how schools are teaching certain subject matters, so communities can trust that their children are being taught objectively, not subjectively. We have also over-promised younger generations that a four-year college degree is the only viable path to success; this is not true and now we have a serious deficit in skilled workers. We need to invest in skilled trade education options in high schools across Oregon.

What do you see as the biggest challenges facing Oregon in the area of transportation and what solutions would you propose to address those?

Ashley Pelton: Safe and reliable transportation improves quality of life and community navigability. It connects us to our jobs, schools, activities and supports tourism and local economic growth. When we lack adequate transportation options, we decrease residents’ civic and social engagement, particularly for seniors, people with disabilities and others without access to personal transportation. To improve availability of transportation options across rural areas, we need funding. A recent federal infrastructure law passed and Oregon was allocated over $5 billion for improving infrastructure; there are billions more in federal grants for which Oregon can apply. Let’s not let this opportunity pass us by!

Cedric Hayden: We have to bring down the local inflationary drivers of gas prices, and that’s the low carbon fuel standard needs to be repealed. It’s diverting .50c a gallon out of Oregon to fuel refineries to meet a standard that isn’t actually reducing carbon emissions in a meaningful way. And not one dime of that extra surcharge is going to roads. We have to bring those dollars back and give relief to families.

What do you see as the biggest challenges facing Oregon in the area of environmental protection or lack thereof and what solutions would you propose to address those?

Cedric Hayden: I support the ideas in Timber Unity’s Four-Point Carbon Reduction Plan. Increase sequestration through using our public lands and road right of ways to build the “Freeway Forest” – thereby creating carbon sequestration sinks and urban/suburban forests to cool cities. Put more effort into recycling plastics, rare metals and find a way to not have wood products wind up in our landfills. Give a sped-up tax break to companies that make upgrades to fleets and facilities. And require the state to procure more locally to reduce emissions from transportation of goods the state buys with our tax dollars. I’ve drafted a variation of that plan for the next legislative session as a starting point for ways we address the environmental concerns without putting that cost onto working families.

Ashley Pelton: We need to address how we manage water in Oregon. Wells and aquifers are drying up, towns are experiencing water insecurity with no obvious fast solution and water restrictions during times of drought continue to increase as our population grows. We need to build more upland water storage, protect our groundwater from contamination and invest in reasonable water conservation efforts, such as helping households convert from septic to sewer connections so wastewater can be recycled.

What do you see as the biggest challenges facing Oregon in the area of support for existing businesses/economic growth? What solutions would you propose to address those?

Ashley Pelton: Our downtowns are riddled with empty storefronts that aren’t up to code and we lack basic tourism infrastructure, such as accessible public transportation, restaurants and lodging that would encourage visitors to spend money when they visit our famously beautiful natural
resources. We need to get funds into the hands of entrepreneurs in rural areas while incentivizing and mentoring new entrepreneurs. Community Investment Funds (CIF) can purchase commercial real estate, address coding issues and allow community members to buy $10-$100 worth of shares monthly until it is completely community-owned. The community shareholders then earn yearly dividends and the CIF would provide mentorship for rural entrepreneurs.

Cedric Hayden: We have seen now where the CAT tax is the wrong policy. Consumers are paying more for the cost of everyday living, including prescription drugs, and it’s forcing businesses to make difficult choices about how to run profitably while trying to keep people employed. I would work to repeal the CAT tax – it was unnecessary as we’ve seen now with a record $3.5 BILLION kicker expected. People would have just been better off with their money in their pockets now, rather than us collecting it through the CAT tax just to give it back.

In addition to any of the issues already touched on, what do you consider the most important issue(s)/challenge(s) facing Oregon? If elected, how would you address it/those?

Cedric Hayden: We have to get back to listening to one another. The one-sided policies that benefit areas like Portland are hurting communities like ours. I work very hard to try to build bridges. I serve for example on the Clinician’s Caucus, a volunteer group of lawmakers who are in health care professions. I’m the only rural or Republican provider that meets with that group. But I try to bring perspective from my community, and I think we’re able to find some consensus. We should do more of that – talk by issues, rather than party, and work together to get things done for all Oregonians.

Ashley Pelton: Public Safety – Of the Oregon inmate population, 32.2% have moderate to severe mental health needs and 53.4% have dependence and addiction issues. After they are released, their conviction records create obstacles with obtaining housing, education and job opportunities which increases the likelihood of recidivism. The Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Program diverts people who commit low level crimes stemming from social service and mental health issues into intensive case management services in lieu of being arrested. Accountability is retained with the D.A. to ensure engagement in the program. Additionally, we need to increase capacity at the Oregon State Hospital for people experiencing serious mental health issues.
Affordable Housing – With mortgage interest rates at 7%, home ownership is even further out of reach of countless Oregonians. The cost of living, rent and mortgages are on the rise and we need real solutions, fast. We aren’t able to build enough housing quickly enough to meet the needs of our growing population, which is why we need ideas that can supplement the difference without requiring an abundance of time and resources. Limited Equity Cooperatives (LEC) expand homeownership opportunities to Oregonians and allow people with shared affinity (i.e. Veterans, seniors, people with disabilities, single parent families) to live cooperatively and build equity. LECs can be formed with existing single family homes, multiplexes and apartment buildings and they maintain affordable housing for future generations to come.

In addition to any of the issues already touched on, what are the biggest issues you see facing rural Oregon and, particularly, the residents of the 6th District?

Ashley Pelton: Our district needs investments in infrastructure. From water insecurity in Sodaville to unsafe sidewalks in Brownsville and empty downtown storefronts in Sweet Home that aren’t up to code, these issues impact our communities on a foundational level. We are held back by the limitations our infrastructure creates. Many of our serious infrastructure issues have been left unaddressed for decades. It’s time that rural issues are heard in Salem and restoration plans begin to be funded and implemented.

Cedric Hayden: Rural infrastructure is at a tipping point. In the last legislative session, legislators were given American Rescue Plan Act dollars (ARPA) funds to do with what they like. I distributed the bulk of the dollars I had discretion over to the Special Districts Association, which in turn allocated them on my behalf to local fire and other special districts that had basic, simple needs that were going unmet. But a little bit goes a long way in communities like ours. I have drafted a rural street safety bill for crosswalks and sidewalks for rural communities, and I will be working to try to help address preserving and sourcing additional dollars for projects like the waste water treatment plant in Sweet Home.

There are two candidates in this race. What most distinguishes you from your opponent?Why should voters consider electing you as District 6 State Senator?

Cedric Hayden: Did not respond.

Ashley Pelton: I believe it is important that our elected representatives have the skill sets that match the needs of the area and that they have the influence necessary in the legislature to pass strong legislation that will make a broad impact on quality of life for constituents. Rural issues are in a social worker’s wheelhouse and the ability to develop comprehensive community-level policy is a strength I would bring to the legislature. For strong rural legislation to pass, we need a state senator who has influence with both major parties. Simply put, my opponent doesn’t have enough influence in the legislature to get the job done. Come November, you will need to make an important decision: Is party politics more important than passing comprehensive rural legislation?