Shelly Boshart-Davis, a Tangent area agri-business owner, has filed to run for the Oregon House District 15 position currently held by Andy Olson.
Olson announced earlier this week that he will not seek an eighth term representing Linn and Benton counties.
Boshart-Davis, a Republican, said she and Olson have spoken numerous times in recent months about her candidacy. She said Olson has “put in an incredible amount of dedication and honesty, and his leaving office will “leave a void.”
“The idea was actually brought up several years ago, even before I had thought about it,” she said. “The opportunity is here and it seems like the right time.”
Boshart-Davis said Oregon politics are currently dominated by the Democratic party, adding that restoring some balance in Salem is vital for the state's long-term good.
“We have many issues and that have come about in part due to one party having complete control,” she said.
Boshart-Davis said Linn County is an excellent example of an area dealing successfully with Oregon’s “rural-urban divide.”
“We have cities and we have small towns and we have thousands of acres of farm land,” she said. “We have bridged the gap through education. Our family was at Memorial Middle School all day Tuesday talking about farming. We bring classes to the farm. Kids have to have access to know how their food goes from the farm to the store to their tables.”
Boshart-Davis said the effort to introduce cap and trade rules would adversely “affect fuel prices and increase the costs of nearly everything we eat or use. If transportation costs go up, the cost of cars, food, clothes will go up. Nearly everything gets here on trucks.”
Boshart-Davis said she will bring extensive business experience to the position.
“Currently, business and labor regulations can be overwhelming,” she said. “It’s so hard to manage all of the new laws, reporting requirements and reams of paperwork. When you have a small business, with only two or three people in the office, how do you pay for adding more staff to deal with government paperwork? What happens is that big businesses gobble up small businesses."
“If you look into the future, this is a definite opportunity for our area,” Boshart-Davis added. “The Millersburg property is a great place for something like this to be sited. It has excellent railroad and Interstate 5 access.”
Boshart-Davis grew up on a family farm and spent time working in Arizona and Nevada after college before returning to work in the family business in 2005. In 2015, she was chosen as National Farm Mom of the Year out of more than 1,400 nominees.
Boshart-Davis has been endorsed by Linn County Commissioner Roger Nyquist, who called her a “common-sense leader who understands the issues facing our community and has the skills to make a positive difference.”
Janet Steele, president of the Albany Chamber of Commerce, said Boshart-Davis “will bring a wealth of knowledge, experiences and expertise to the Oregon House of Representatives. Throughout her life, Shelly has taken an active and positive leadership role. She does her homework, knows the issues, recognizes challenges and is prepared to advocate for her future constituents. I am sure Shelly will be a tremendous asset and strong advocate for us as our next representative.”