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Former Salem dentist, community leader Selma Pierce hit, killed by car

Selma Pierce, a well-known community leader, retired dentist and former legislative candidate, was struck and killed by a car Tuesday evening, according to the Salem Police Department.

Pierce, 66, was the wife of Bud Pierce, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for governor in 2016. Gov. Kate Brown defeated him. On Monday, KATU’s news partners reported that Bud Pierce would seek the governor’s  office in 2022.



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Selma Pierce was active in her community, well-known in political circles and ran for a seat in the state House this year as a Republican. She was unable to unseat incumbent Paul Evans, a Democrat, however.

In a statement released Tuesday night, House Republican Leader Christine Drazan of Canby said Republicans in the House were devastated.

“We are profoundly saddened by this sudden loss of our friend and community leader. Selma dedicated her life to serving people. She touched the lives of thousands through volunteer dental work to at-risk populations, service on local education foundations, and her and her husband Bud’s generous support of countless community organizations,” Drazan said. “The Pierces are a pillar of the Salem community and this loss will be felt deeply across our state. Our prayers are with Bud and the entire Pierce family this evening.”

In a tweet, Gov. Brown said she and her husband, Dan, extended their condolences to the Pierce family.

“They are in our thoughts during this difficult time,” she said.

Salem police said Selma was walking on Doaks Ferry Road NW near Hidden Valley Drive when a driver of a Chevrolet SUV struck her around 5 p.m.

Police said it appeared she was in the road when she was hit. She died at the scene.

The driver stopped and cooperated with investigators.

Selma was born in San Francisco to Lawrence and Priscilla Moon.

Her grandparents immigrated to America and her legislative campaign website detailed the racism her family experienced. Upon graduating from Harvard Business School, no one would hire her first-generation-Chinese-American father and he had to settle for a job in a family member’s market. The state of California eventually hired him as an auditor for state hospitals.

Selma attended the University of California, Berkeley, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and then earned a Doctor of Dental Surgery at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Dentistry.

She volunteered for many organizations, including Medical Teams International, Mission of Mercy, Salem Area Chamber of Commerce, OHSU Foundation Board of Trustees and many other organizations.

Selma was married to Bud, who is an oncologist, for over 35 years. They have two children, Kristina and Michael.

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