The Benton County Elections Office plans to mail out ballots this week for the Nov. 8 general election and in an effort to help voters get to know the candidates a little better, the Philomath News asked each of them five questions.

This is the third of a five-part series of questions and answers to be published this week at PhilomathNews.com. Two candidates are running for state representative in the 10th district — incumbent David Gomberg and challenger Celeste McEntee.

This is the third of five questions asked of the candidates. Each candidate was allowed no more than 200 words for each individual answer with no exceptions. Answers were edited only for punctuation and typos and to conform to newspaper style guidelines (abbreviations, capitalization, etc.).

What politician, whether it’s local, state or federal, do you most admire or has had the most influence on you as you go through your own journey seeking office?

MCENTEE: I don’t idolize politicians. I do, however, believe that a politician’s job is to know their districts well and be a strong voice representing their district. Regardless of closely held personal beliefs or party affiliation. This is the reason I have chosen to run. There’s too much party politics and polarization.

I believe in the fundamentals of the constitution. Family is the foundation of our communities, not government. I believe in fiscal responsibility and limited government. I believe our education system should be about raising future responsible and educated adults, not indoctrination of political ideologies.

GOMBERG: Many people don’t know this, but when Tom McCall left the governor’s office, he came to OSU and taught several political science classes. There was a large lecture class and twice a week, a small gathering of department seniors.

So every Tuesday and Thursday for a semester, I sat with 10 other students and learned from Tom McCall about government, about process, about fairness, compromise, compassion and about the Oregon he loved. It was a remarkable time and had a remarkable effect on a young man learning about both the limits of government and the potential of government to make real and meaningful difference for people.

In 1981, with the ink still drying on my college degrees, I went to work for a freshman legislator from Portland named Barbara Roberts. I was her first chief of staff and we worked together for two years. My wife, Susan, was on her staff when she became secretary of state and then Oregon’s first woman governor.

I left Barbara’s staff to move to the coast and start a business. But 40 years later, we are still dear friends and speak frequently.

Coming Thursday: Redistricting has placed Philomath in House District 10 and with your background and residency on the coast, do you believe you’ll need to adjust or balance your approach in how you would represent the various interests that you might find in these communities?

CANDIDATES Q-and-A
PUBLISHED
Monday, Oct. 17: How would you define the responsibilities of a state legislator and what do you believe constitutes appropriate and effective citizen representation?
Tuesday, Oct. 18: What background do you have in your personal and professional life that you believe work in your favor to represent citizens in your district?
Wednesday, Oct. 19: What politician, whether it’s local, state or federal, do you most admire or has had the most influence on you as you go through your own journey seeking office?
COMING
Thursday, Oct. 20: Redistricting has placed Philomath in House District 10 and with your background and residency on the coast, do you believe you’ll need to adjust or balance your approach in how you would represent the various interests that you might find in these communities?
Friday, Oct. 21: Housing, health care, transportation and education are examples of common issues that come up during elections. What’s the one issue that really gets you worked up, something you want to prioritize, during a two-year House term?

Brad Fuqua, Philomath News

Brad Fuqua has covered the Philomath area since 2014 as the editor of the now-closed Philomath Express and currently as publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He has worked as a professional journalist since 1988 at daily and weekly newspapers in Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, Arizona, Montana and Oregon.