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Primary opponents familiar.

Byline: RANDI BJORNSTAD The Register-Guard

Republican voters in the newly configured House District 7 will choose this month between a self-styled "platform" Republican who takes pride in voting the party line and a moderate who says his views and his votes depend on the issue and "sometimes might seem kind of weird for a Republican."

Nonetheless, Cedric Hayden and Jeff Kruse have several things in common. Both come from families with long histories in this part of the state. Hayden, a dentist and tree farmer, lives on property in Fall Creek that has been in his family's ownership for 50 years. Kruse, a vegetable and fruit grower, farms land that has been in his family for 78 years, at Garden Valley just west of Roseburg.

Both have served in the state Legislature - Hayden for seven terms, Kruse for three.

Kruse represented what used to be House District 45, but the once-a-decade redrawing of statewide legislative districts left him and fellow Republican Susan Morgan both living in the new District 2.

Secretary of State Bill Bradbury reassigned Kruse to be the incumbent in the new District 7, which ended 200 yards away from his residence, forcing him to relocate to Sutherlin to run from the new district.

Moving from district to district to run for the Legislature has never been an obstacle for Hayden. His tenure has spanned 14 years - 1985-97 and again since 2001 - and three House districts.

His last position was in west Eugene's Republican-friendly District 43, which became much more strongly Democratic under redistricting - a factor in his decision to move back to his Fall Creek property and run in District 7.

The new District 7 includes much of east Lane County, including the cities of Cottage Grove, Lowell, Westfir and Oakridge. It also encompasses northwest and southeast Douglas County, excluding Roseburg but taking in Oakland, Sutherlin, Drain, Elkton and Yoncalla.

Kruse says that configuration should give him an edge because he's "part of the fabric of rural Oregon - I always have been, and I always will be."

He describes himself as a strong Republican, but one who "doesn't fully endorse" every Republican point of view, citing his strong support for public funding of social programs such as family resource centers and state-supported health care for low-income Oregonians.

"There are lots of issues where the party position doesn't jibe with the needs of rural areas," Kruse said. "I make up my mind issue by issue, based on what meets the needs of the people I represent."

If he had to label himself, he says, it would be as "a fiscal conservative and social moderate, although that, of course, depends on where you're standing."

"If I'm in Douglas County, I'm a moderate," Kruse says. "If I'm on Martin Luther King (Street) in north Portland, they'd probably really laugh at that."

On the other hand, Hayden proudly characterizes himself as a "fiscal and social conservative who hews closely" to Republican Party positions.

"People tend to drift toward the middle over time, and I haven't done that," Hayden says. "I've served in the state Legislature for a total of 14 years - that's a very long life expectancy for a conservative."

He laughingly attributes his political longevity to his "charm and geniality," but says that compared with his former legislative district, which included part of Eugene, District 7 appears to be significantly more conservative, giving him "an even chance of winning against the incumbent (Kruse) in the primary."

"If I were running against a challenger, it would be a slam-dunk," Hayden says.

The two candidates probably differ most markedly on fiscal issues, Hayden says. He staunchly continues to support the property tax limitation measures that began in 1990 with passage of Ballot Measure 5. He also wants all possible surplus state income tax revenues - known as "kicker" funds - to be returned in full to state taxpayers.

In campaign literature, Hayden has portrayed Kruse as supportive of diverting some kicker money to other uses, a charge Kruse hotly denies.

"In reality, we voted on a bill to use some federal funds - not kicker funds at all - for supporting health care programs for senior citizens," Kruse says. "I've been trying to correct this misconception at my town hall meetings; I don't like negative campaigning, and I'm not sure how to handle it."

In terms of property tax limitations, Kruse says he doesn't oppose what the voters chose to do a decade ago, but believes that it's time to review the state's overall tax structure.

"Through the years, the ability of local governments and school districts to raise the funds they need to meet their obligations has been severely curtailed," Kruse says. "We need to look at the burdens that have accrued and see what changes we might need to make."

Whoever wins on May 21 will face Democrat Donald Nordin of Cottage Grove, running unopposed in the primary. Nordin owns Equinox Industries, a small firm that manufactures bicycle trailers, garden carts and bicycle-mounted kayak and canoe carriers.

Lane County Commissioner Cindy Weeldreyer also has indicated that she may appear on the ballot in November, as an independent.

CEDRIC HAYDEN

Age: 67

Family: Wife Marilyn and six adult children

Government experience: 14 years in the Legislature

Occupation: Dentist, tree farmer, state representative

Education: Bachelor's degree in general science from the University of Oregon; dentistry degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.

Residence: Fall Creek

Endorsements: Ag-PAC; Elk Creek Action Committee; Oregon Right to Life; Oregon Landscape Contractors Association; B.J. Rogers; Dr. Mike Shirtcliff

Contact: (541) 736-0002; fax 736-8355; mailing address, Hayden Family Dentistry Group, 5811 Main St., Springfield, OR 97478; Cedric@hfdg.com

Recent book read: "Joan of Arc, the Girl in White Armor"

Recent video watched: "Alpine Mountaineering"

Person/event most influential to your politics: Ronald Reagan

Proudest accomplishment in public life: Military service during the Cuban Missile Crisis, in the U.S. Navy stationed in San Diego

JEFF KRUSE

Age: 50

Family: Divorced, 27-year-old son and 24-year-old daughter

Government experience: Legislature since 1997; before that, member of Douglas County Soil & Water Conservation District for 20 years; from 1993-97, president of Oregon Association of Water Conservation Districts

Occupation: Farmer; part of 78-year-old family operation in Garden Valley just west of Roseburg

Education: Bachelor's degree in economics from Willamette University

Residence: Sutherlin

Endorsements:Oregon Landscape Contractors Association; Oregon Right to Life; Association of Oregon Corrections Employees; Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council; AG-PAC; Oregon State Police Officers Association; Oregon Nurses PAC; American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

Contact:(541) 673-7201; fax 672-0185; 174 Burkhart Rapids Lane, Roseburg, OR 97470; krusej@rosenet.net or kruse.rep@state.or.us

Recent book read:David McCullough's biography of John Adams

Recent video watched:"Mr. Holland's Opus"

Person/event most influential to your politics:My father, Don Kruse, who served on the Roseburg School Board for 20 years and the state school board for 10 years. "He's an amazing man, a heck of a role model."

Proudest accomplishment in public life:Chief sponsor of Oregon's patient's bill of rights passed in the 2001 legislative session. "This could become the model for the entire country. It didn't get much attention because we had all the necessary players - labor, insurance companies, doctors, businesses - in agreement on what needed to be done."

CANDIDATES Q&A

Do you think Oregon's tax system is fair? If not, what kind of changes are needed?

Cedric Hayden:"Reasonably fair."

Jeff Kruse: "From a philosophical perspective, a sales tax probably would be 'fairer' than the income tax, but I don't know where you can go with that when the people of Oregon have said 12 times, I think, that they don't want it. If you're looking to get more revenue for the state, we first should make sure we're making good use of the money we already have, eliminating duplication in state programs and making sure things that made funding sense 20 years ago still do."

Which program areas are you willing to reduce if the state faces a budget shortfall, as expected for the 2003-05 biennium?

Hayden: Would support a 2 percent across-the-board reduction in budget.

Kruse: Believes some state agency reorganization could decrease the shortfall. "When welfare reform came along and began emphasizing jobs, we saw a significant shift in caseloads from the Employment Department to Adult and Family Services. But we didn't see a reduction in the employee base in the Employment Department. So, my question is, would it make sense to put employment services back into the Department of Human Services - where it was 15 years ago?"

Do you support Measure 13, to change the Education Endowment Fund to an education stability fund? If not, what long-term funding solution do you have for K-12 education?

Hayden: "I favor Measure 13."

Kruse: Supports Measure 13 as a quick fix. "But we need to find a long-term solution; we need to look at where the money we have is going. Generally speaking, especially in many rural areas, the (per student) amount that arrives at the local school district is a lot less than what they're supposed to get. Where is it going? A local school superintendent I know who asked that question was told by the Department of Education that the formula was too complicated to explain. If the schools were getting what they're supposed to be getting, we wouldn't have these problems."

Oregon is the last Western state to keep its rural interstate speed limit at 65 mph. Are you willing to increase this limit?

Hayden: "Yes. For consistency, it should be the same as Washington state's speed limit."

Kruse: "I have no problem with the idea of a 70-75 mph speed limit on Interstate 5 - I had legislation in that would have moved Oregon from a 'basic rule' to a speed limit state. (In fact, I got in trouble a couple of years ago for saying that I always set my cruise control at 75 because I've been told by cops that they don't ticket under 75.) But I think we should look at more than the interstate; I think the Oregon Department of Transportation should be able to determine (appropriate) speed limits on all state highways."

What issue(s) would you raise in the state Legislature that specifically affect people in House District 7?

Hayden: "I have drafted and will introduce legislation to return with interest the over-collected kicker taxes the Legislature kept."

Kruse: "A couple of issues have come up as I've gotten to know my 'new' cities in District 7 - Cottage Grove, Florence and Oakridge. They don't want to see centralization of 911 services; they still need to have local (dispatch) centers. We also clearly need to find ways where the state can be more of a player in bringing more business to the state. In my 'new' district, every community was a timber community, and I want to help with economic diversification for those communities. Tourism and call centers are real nice, but I'm interested in bringing in industry that pays family wages so people can make a living here."
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Title Annotation:District 7: Two Republican legislative veterans seek the nomination in a reconfigured district; a Democrat is unopposed.; Politics
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:May 4, 2002
Words:1846
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