FALL CREEK, OR – Representative Dr. Cedric Hayden (R-Fall Creek) announced this week that he will be seeking election to the newly-configured Senate District 6. The district is comprised of many of the Lane County communities Hayden currently represents, including Cottage Grove, Fall Creek, Oak Ridge, and Creswell. Additionally, the new district adds other Lane County communities like Junction City, Coburg, and Springfield, while also drawing in significant communities in Linn County such as Lebanon, Brownsville, and Shedd. However, the new district disconnects from the Douglas County communities Hayden has served during his four terms in the Legislature.
“For nearly eight years, it’s been my honor to serve as a Representative in the Oregon House during which time I’ve had the opportunity to be Vice-Chair of the House Healthcare Committee and serve on variety of other committees,” said Hayden, a Lane County area dentist whose clinical practice has focused on serving Oregon’s Medicaid and special needs populations, as well as dentistry needs for low-income people across the globe.
“With the new redistricting lines comes an opportunity to serve a wider number of constituents and to help more people achieve their goals and resolve their unmet needs.” Hayden points to challenges Oregonians faced during the pandemic which have kept his office working to resolve issues like helping constituents access unemployment benefits, directing communities and small businesses to state and federal grants, and connecting people in need to rental assistance and healthcare services.
“In our office, we have really prided ourselves on helping Oregonians, whether they live in the district or not. Moving onto the Senate allows me expand our efforts to serve constituents,” he said. Hayden also brings decades of healthcare policy and practitioner experience to the Senate, as well as first-hand natural resources expertise garnered in his capacity as a wildland firefighter and logger.
Since being elected, Hayden has passed legislation to increase access to healthcare programs, support veterans programs and services, and deliver wildfire relief support to families who suffered in the 2020 Labor Day fires. “Even though Republicans in Salem aren’t in the majority, it hasn’t stopped me from being appointed to critical committees or from working on impactful legislation that helps families, small business owners, farmers and the timber community, and our most vulnerable citizens,” Hayden stated.
Hayden said that moving onto the Senate won’t change his legislative priorities for 2023.
“Healthcare continues to consume the largest share of both personal household income and the Legislature’s budget. We must work to bring costs down, make drug costs more affordable, and ensure better access, particularly for those in rural Oregon.” In 2021 legislative session, Hayden chief-sponsored legislation to explore allowing a public option for Oregonians to buy health insurance at a reduced rate. “There’s a tremendous amount of interest from my Senate healthcare counterparts on both sides of the aisle to solve the healthcare puzzle that’s burdening so many families. We could have legislation passed by the end of 2023.”
Another healthcare focus for Hayden, who currently serves as Vice-Chair of the House Health subcommittee on Covid-19, is working on commonsense solutions in the debate on vaccine mandates and passports. “We have to try to find a balance between public health and personal freedom. Covid is going to be with us for a long time to come. It’s time for the Legislature to take back the reins from Governor Brown and develop long-term strategies for dealing with an endemic disease that won’t erode people’s freedom and medical privacy.”
If elected in 2022, the senate term will last for four years.
“I am excited about meeting new neighbors and constituents during the campaign for Senate District 6. The most important thing I can do to serve the people in my community is keep a door open and be ready to help,” Hayden said. “I look forward to a chance to connect to new voters and continue serving the thousands of constituents from my current House district.”
When he is not serving in the Legislature, Representative Cedric Hayden is a practicing dentist focused on delivering charitable dental care. Along with his wife Julie, he is the founder of Caring Hands Worldwide, an Oregon and global non-profit focused on delivering free dental care to people in need of services. He also owns and operates a wildland firefighting and logging company where he has worked to put out some of the biggest forest fires that have impacted families across Senate District 6.
Rep. Hayden and his wife are raising three young children at home.