By Karen Hutchinson-Talaski

Staff writer

HERMISTON — As part of his Connecting Oregon tour, Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski's first stop will be Hermiston.

Kulongoski will be talking to local leaders about jobs and education on Monday at the Hermiston Convention Center about 4 p.m., says Marian Hammond, spokeswoman for the governor's office.

"The governor will arrive about 2:30 and walk down Main Street Hermiston," Hammond said, "to talk to business owners."

Kulongoski chose Hermiston as his first stop for Connecting Oregon because he loves Eastern Oregon, said Hammond. The spokeswoman said the governor wanted a chance to visit this part of Oregon.

"He is excited to visit," Hammond said.

After the reception at the community center, Kulongoski will head towards Condon on the next leg of his journey.

Connecting Oregon, Hammond says, is part of the governor's efforts to connect the parts of Oregon that seem disconnected.

Uniting rural vs. urban, east vs. west, citizens vs. government are some of the challenges the governor faces, says Hammond.

"He wants to connect people with each other," Hammond said, "He wants to hear from people all over the state about what they want."

Governor Kulongoski will travel in a coach donated to government and business leaders by the Association of Oregon Industries (AOI). AOI made the coach available to the governor to make his trek across the state.

This will be the first visit to Hermiston since Kulongoski entered office.

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