House Majority Leader Julie Fahey faces challenge from Eugene business owner Stan Stubblefield

State Rep. Julie Fahey, a west Eugene Democrat and state House majority leader who represents District 14, will face Republican challenger Stan Stubblefield in the Nov. 8 election.

Fahey has represented the district, which covers west Eugene, Veneta and part of Junction City, since 2017. She has worked as a business and nonprofit consultant. Core issues for her include housing and homelessness, supporting small businesses and workers, and community safety.

Stubblefield, also of Eugene, is the longtime owner of De Casa Fine Foods. Issues he wants to focus on if elected include assisting law enforcement and addressing community safety issues, homelessness, education and helping small businesses.

'There's just a lot more work to do'

Fahey was elected majority leader by the Oregon House Democrats in 2022.

Fahey, 44, said she is running for reelection to continue working to address issues of concern to her constituents including housing and homelessness, the economy, education and public safety.

“I am really proud of the progress that we've made in the last few years on issues like education and addressing housing affordability and protecting access to reproductive rights, and I know that there's just a lot more work to do,” she said.

Fahey said it's important to focus on the root causes of homelessness. She wants to improve mental health care and substance abuse programs for the unhoused and increase the number of safe sleep sites, shelters and permanent supportive housing.

Fahey has 20 years’ experience working as a business and nonprofit consultant. Having left a stable job to start a small business, Fahey said she thinks her experience helps guide her in assisting other local businesses.

“I think those perspectives are really important that I bring to the state Legislature, as we think about what kind of state we want to be, for both workers and for businesses,” she said.

Fahey wants to make sure Oregon is prepared for any out-of-state residents seeking an abortion after the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in June.

“There is additional work that we need to do,” Fahey said.

Since she was first elected, Fahey has sponsored notable legislation including the 2017 Oregon Equal Pay Act, which aims to reduce pay disparities and expand protections for employees subject to discriminatory practices. This year, she led development of a $400 million funding package aimed at addressing homelessness and housing affordability. Fahey was also a chief sponsor for the Reproductive Health Equity Act in 2017, which helps ensure Oregonians have access to health services such as family planning, abortion and postpartum care.

According to the Oregon Secretary of State's Office, Fahey's campaign had raised just over $260,000 this year as of Tuesday. It has spent roughly $187,000.

Stubblefield focused on safety, businesses

Stubblefield, a Republican who owns and has acted as secretary for the west Eugene business De Casa Fine Foods, said reducing crime and providing more funding for police departments and district attorneys' offices would be among his main priorities if elected to the Legislature.

“I think the government's primary responsibility is to provide for orderly and safe communities and protection of life and property and I feel in many cases, they’ve failed us at this point,” Stubblefield said.

Stubblefield was critical of the response by officials to statewide protests demanding cities defund police departments. He said he thinks officials should have more loudly expressed support for law enforcement.

Stubblefield, 70, lives in Eugene with his wife, and has two daughters, including one who now runs the family-owned store. His background includes working as a UPS driver and center manager, and six years in the Oregon National Guard.

Stubblefield said he thinks his experience both as an employer and employee would serve him well in advocating for businesses.

“Sometimes people think the government is the one that runs the economy, but it's our businesses that have to thrive,” Stubblefield said. “At the same time, we need to treat our employees fairly.”

Stubblefield said he disagrees with Fahey and the House Democrats setting aside funding to help out-of-state residents travel to Oregon to have an abortion.

“I always have a hard time using Oregon taxpayers’ money, especially for something that is still controversial,” he said.

Although he is pro-life, Stubblefield said if elected, he would go with what the majority of residents want regarding abortion legislation.

Stubblefield was also critical of Fahey and others for voting in favor of House Bill 3427 in 2019, which created a corporate activity tax for Oregon businesses that make more than $1 million dollars in sales. The tax goes toward improving schools.

According to the Oregon Secretary of State's Office, Stubblefield's campaign had raised just over $29,700 this year as of Tuesday and spent just over $18,700.

Louis Krauss covers breaking news for The Register-Guard. Contact him at lkrauss@registerguard.com or 541-521-2498, and follow him on Twitter @LouisKraussNews.

This article originally appeared on Register-Guard: Julie Fahey, Stan Stubblefield vie for Oregon House District 14