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Republicans vow to restore timber industry, protect ag if they win Oregon governor’s race

Republican candidates for governor talk during a break in a debate at the Venetian in Hillsboro, Oregon, on Thursday, April 7, 2022. From left: Stan Pulliam, Bill Sizemore, Christine Drazan, Court Boice, Bridget Barton, Bud Pierce, Tim McCloud, Jessica Gomez and Brandon Merritt (Julia Shumway/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

HILLSBORO – Under a Republican governor, many state employees would lose their jobs and Oregon would favor farmers and ranchers over environmental interests, 11 GOP candidates indicated at a debate Thursday night. 

The candidates – a mix of local elected officials, business owners and political activists – are among the 19 Republicans vying for their party’s nomination in May. They gathered at Hillsboro’s remodeled Venetian Theatre, answering questions about forests and natural resources in a ballroom that used to be a movie auditorium. 

Candidates sat behind individual tables . . .