Former NYC Mayor Giuliani in town to support Saxton

    Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani spoke on behalf of gubernatorial candidate Ron Saxton Monday afternoon at the Portland Art Museum, officially endorsing the Republican candidate for the position.

    Giuliani spoke to a crowd of over 180 Saxton supporters in the Art Museum’s Kridel Grand Ballroom, as one of many stops Giuliani has made around the country endorsing Republican candidates. Giuliani said he visited Oregon with the intent of endorsing the Saxton campaign.

    Saxton spoke of changes that he believes must be made to the way Oregon is run, adding that there is a lack of leadership under the incumbent gubernatorial candidate Ted Kulongoski. If elected, Saxton said he will lower taxes, and tighten the state government, which he said is growing out of control. He said he will model his work in Oregon after what Giuliani accomplished during his tenure as mayor of New York City.

    ”What happened in New York is what we need to happen in Oregon,” Saxton said. “It won’t happen without leadership.”

    The $250-a-plate lunch fundraiser drew a near-capacity crowd, while a handful of protestors stood outside the art museum with signs denouncing Saxton. Saxton supporters who donated $2,500 could also attend a 30-minute photo opportunity and private reception with Saxton and Giuliani.

    Giuliani said that he believes Oregon has a potential to be a state greater than it is and that he said he endorses Saxton because of his support for education. Giuliani compared the Oregon public education system to a failing business. He said that schools in Oregon should pay teachers for quality of instruction versus a standardized pay.

    ”The reality is that children do not come first, job protection comes first,” Giuliani said.

    Giuliani said that with Saxton’s leadership he believes that Oregon can be one of the best states in the country.

    ”In a short period of time Oregon can be number one or number two,” he said. “Somewhere near the top.”