State Treasurer run-off: Senator Metsger, Sen. Tefler.

In light of the shocking and sad news of State Treasurer Ben Westlund dying over the weekend, State Senator Rick Metsger (D-Welches) and State Senator Chris Telfer (R-Bend) have stepped up to file for the seat. Below is State Senator Chris Telfer’s press release. Reporter Jeff Mapes hinted that Steve Novick and former Rep. Greg Macpherson are interested in the Governor’s immediate appointment.

Telfer running for Treasurer
Will use CPA background, work for strong fiscal leadership

BEND — Chris Telfer, a CPA and State Senator from Bend announced today that she will run for State Treasurer. Telfer is a Republican and serves as a member of the Senate Revenue Committee where she has aggressively challenged Salem officials on fiscal management issues. Telfer says that if elected she will use the position to advocate for better fiscal management and financial oversight.

“As a CPA, my priority is more sound and reasoned fiscal management of our state,” Telfer said. “Oregonians are looking for fiscal leadership right now and my background will ensure the Executive Branch has someone who can read a balance sheet, challenge the status quo mismanagement of taxpayer money, and chart a more sustainable financial course for Oregon.”

Telfer also noted that she will use the office as a bully pulpit for creating jobs. “As a member of the Land Board you can be certain I will fight to responsibly leverage our state’s vast resources to create jobs,” Telfer said. “We have tools in Oregon that few other states hold and we need to manage them to benefit Oregon families.”

During the 2009 and 2010 legislative sessions Telfer spearheaded efforts to develop an alternative state budget that would have allocated an additional $250 million to local schools. Telfer also identified several state accounts accumulating money while the state was cutting services. Some of the money she identified was utilized by budget-writers to rebalance the state budget during the legislature’s recent special session.

Telfer credits her success to a outsider’s view of the budget. “The people that helped create the fiscal issues in our state are not the ones to solve them,” said Telfer.

Telfer’s announcement comes after news that state Treasurer Ben Westlund died of cancer on Sunday. “Ben was a good friend and I will really miss our phone calls and our discussions about making good policy for our state,” she said. “No matter your politics you knew that Ben Westlund cared deeply about our state. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Libby and the family.”

Secretary of State Kate Brown announce on Monday that candidates for the office must file by 5PM on Tuesday. Telfer represents Deschutes County in the Oregon Senate. Her victory in 2008 was the only Republican pickup of 2008 after capturing the seat formerly held by Westlund. Telfer previously served as a Bend City Council where she drew a reputation as a bulldog on fiscal issues.