Rep. Dennis Richardson has just announced he is running for Oregon’s next governor! In a mere 15 months Oregon voters will be sitting at their kitchen tables contemplating who to choose as our next governor.

Some may criticize Rep. Richardson for spoiling their summer by jumping the gun. The legislature just went home and people are tired of all the nonsense going on in government; they just want to enjoy the lazy days of summer before Labor Day, when candidates typically announce their campaigns. But, my hat is off to Rep. Richardson! His announcement is welcome like a soft summer breeze on a glorious summer day.

Although a part of the current legislative body himself, Rep. Richardson summed up the 2013 session by saying it was a wasted six months and a waste of millions of taxpayers’ dollars. In his July 12 newsletter he said, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

We need leaders who will step up and do something constructive to get state government under control. Clearly there is no oversight in far too many state agencies. Do I begin with Rudy Crews, the Department of Corrections, the Psychiatric Security Review Board or the Employment Department debacles?

The governor has been far too fixated on his over-reaching social agenda of putting everyone who lives and works in Oregon into socialized medicine, his government takeover of our children from pre-birth through and beyond college, pampering criminals and swooping down with more nanny care in our family life. All of these new programs create enormous new bureaucracies, require billions of new taxpayer dollars, challenge voters’ positions on these issues and are far too convoluted to enact.

Many of us would like government to simply keep us safe, ensure justice is balanced and stop the nanny state intrusion into our family. We want a government that is frugal and respectful of our hard-earned tax dollars. The more money business owners and individual taxpayers can keep in their own pocket, the more we can build back to a strong economy, create new jobs and rebuild our floundering communities. So far, these are the critical issues Rep. Richardson is talking about.

While you enjoy your summer, be sure to keep up on current events! Keep an eye on what the governor is doing, appointments he is making (such as who will fill Rudy Crew’s shoes), executive orders he signs, what administrative rules the state is coming up with to enact the hundreds of pieces of legislation passed in the last session, and what special interest groups and legislators are doing to craft legislation for the next session.

Then, come Labor Day when elected officials and challengers step forward to announce their candidacy, you’ll be better informed, and you can better track candidates as we enter the next campaign season. A good preview will be Sept. 16-18, when legislators and state officials are back in Salem for their next legislative days.

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