Backroom Bend

The way politics is supposed to be?

When Sally Russell was elected mayor of Bend in 2018, the city council seat she previously held was considered vacant. It was up to city council to fill the vacancy with an appointment.

36 people applied.

After several public meetings, councilors announced their shortlists. Chris Piper was on only one councilor’s shortlist: Justin Livingston’s.

Then, suddenly, during further discussion, Mayor Sally Russell indicated that she would not vote for anyone but Chris Piper.

If you were stunned, so were her fellow councilors. Well, most of them.

This is the story leading up to that decision by Sally Russell.

Watch how it went down:

Compare Sally's explanation to video of her vote:

Now read Sally's text messages before the vote:

These were released by the City of Bend pursuant to a public records requests.

Sally Russell and Karna Gustafson

Sally Russell and Katy Brooks

Katy is CEO of the Bend Chamber of Commerce

Sally Russell and Marley Forest

Marley was Sally’s campaign manager during her run for mayor.

No reply was noted in the public record from Sally.