Although he now lives in Eugene, Marty Wilde, the Democratic candidate for the House District 11 seat held by retiring Phil Barnhart, has an Albany connection.

From 2007 to 2010, he was a deputy district attorney for Linn County, working under Jason Carlile and with current District Attorney Doug Marteeny.

Wilde grew up in Blachley, where he says he learned the value of community spirit and working together.

“Look, every party was a potluck,” Wilde said. “No one was affluent, but public education and a sense of community were important.”

House District 11 runs from Creswell almost to Lebanon, and Wilde said although the demographics vary widely, there are many common concerns. Key issues are funding education, the cost of and access to healthcare and the state’s lack of affordable housing.

Wilde said he benefitted from Oregon’s public education system and he believes it must be fully funded.

Wilde said funding could come in part by rolling back tax cuts and updating the state’s corporate tax system.

A strong educational system will ultimately pay off for Oregon employers, Wilde said.

Wilde said he believes health care is a fundamental right. He supports universal coverage and supports expansion of the Oregon Health Plan.

He said Oregonians will benefit from a mixture of private health care programs plus a state-funded option. He believes employers should be required to provide health insurance or pay for a state-supported health care program.

Wilde said he believes Oregon could improve the health of its forests, while also providing rural jobs through selecting harvesting programs that also reduce fuel loads and reduce the chances of catastrophic wildfires.

Wilde served as an environmental lawyer for the Air Force in Alaska and said through cooperation there are ways to support rural jobs, but also protect watersheds and reduce carbon emissions.

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Wilde said the need for affordable housing is present in small towns and bigger cities.

“It comes down to the fact we need more housing,” Wilde said. “Cities need to review their System Development Charges to ensure they are not overpricing development or creating barriers to new construction. System Development Charges cannot be excessive.”

He said passage of Ballot Measure 102 would be a good start. Measure 102 would allow local governments to use bond proceeds to lend money to, or invest in or pay, a private company to buy or build affordable housing. Voter approval would be required.

Wilde said statewide cooperation is possible. He pointed to the Transportation Plan that had bipartisan support and the Oregon Health Plan funding package.

“Everyone felt like they were being listened to,” Wilde said.

Wilde says he has long been an advocate for the equal treatment of all persons, including LGBTQ. As a military lawyer, he has prosecuted sexual assault and harassment cases and helped form the Air Force Special Victims Counsel program.

Wilde has served tours of military duty in Afghanistan, the Middle East and Bosnia.

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Contact Linn County reporter Alex Paul at 541-812-6114.