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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow Candidates vie for votes in Wallowa County

Candidates vie for votes in Wallowa County

ENTERPRISE — Candidates vying to represent District 58 in 2015-16 lobbied Wallowa County residents this week. The two Republicans, Greg Barreto of Cove and John Turner of Pendleton, will square off in May’s primary election.


Both candidates met with Wallowa County voters at Cloud 9 Bakery this week in Enterprise. 

Turner is retired from both the Marine Corps, where he served 28 years as an officer, and nine years as the president of Blue Mountain Community College. He said during his last four years in the Marines he ran a post-graduate program at the Marine Corps War College.

Education and job training are at the top of Turner’s list to address if elected to represent Umatilla, Union and Wallowa counties in the state Legislature. 

“The last four or five years, if not the last decade, have been tough times for higher education,” Turner said. “We were able to keep all workforce training going at Blue Mountain, including our diesel mechanic tech program. Graduates from that program get jobs.” 

His emphasis in education, he said, is workforce development and community college job training. 

“Not everyone wants to or needs to go on to a university to have a good life,” he said. 

Greg Barreto started his manufacturing company in La Grande 31 years ago, which now employs 76 people. He said his top priority if elected to the Legislature is to create an environment that will bring in business to Oregon.

“I’m a businessman, not a politician,” Barreto said. “I want to make a difference and I know that is not an easy job. I’ve also learned it’s not easy to run for office.”

He said he’s not up on the all of the topics important to the constituents of District 58 and was looking for input during his Wednesday morning visit to Enterprise.

“I’m a lifetime NRA member, pro-gun, pro-life, pro-family and pro-business,” he said.

He said despite his integrity, he understands that to get work accomplished in Salem that people need to come together. 

“If you don’t work with people, they won’t work with you, but I won’t lose my conviction,” Barreto said.

He said as a representative if he doesn’t feel like he’s making a difference, he won’t run for re-election. 

“This isn’t another line on my resume. If I can’t make a difference, there’s no reason to stay in there,” he said.

Barreto said he supports the transfer of federally managed public lands to the state or even the county as Idaho and Utah are trying to do. “I believe management should be on the most local level,” he said.

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