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Pierce seeks to concentrate on public safety, education and homelessness as candidate for governor

Bud Pierce, a Republican, visited Ontario recently on a campaign stop. Pierce, a Salem doctor, is one of a number of candidates running for governor. (The Enterprise/PAT CALDWELL)

ONTARIO – Tragedy often defines a life and while Bud Pierce can point to a long list of successes, he is intimately familiar with misfortune.

Pierce announced his second bid for governor on the Republican ticket in December 2020. That same day his wife, Selma, was struck by a car and killed while on a walk near their Salem home.

The tragedy changed his political outlook.

He said the tragedy made him a better candidate in terms of the ability to connect to those who faced similar trials.

“It helps you feel their loss. Makes you more sensitive. When someone says they lost a pet . . .