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Oregonians Vote to Retain Senate Democratic Majority
PORTLAND, Ore--Returns from Tuesday night's election delivered a decisive victory for the Oregon Senate Democrats, who will hold a 16-14 majority in the 2013 Legislative Session.
Out of 16 seats up for grabs in this cycle, Democrats held on to their 8 seats to preserve the balance of power and keep the majority. Key races included East Multnomah County's Senate District 25, where Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson handily won a second term, and the Oregon Coast, where Co-Speaker Arnie Roblan won an open seat contest to succeed retiring Sen. Joanne Verger.
"Democrats ran hard-fought campaigns with a message that spoke to everyday Oregonians," said Tom Powers, executive director of the Senate Democratic Leadership Fund. "Our victories in East County, on the Oregon Coast and in the Portland area show that voters overwhelmingly chose the Democratic majority to keep working for them".
In Beaverton's Senate District 14, Senator Mark Hass turned back a challenge from towing company magnate Gary Coe (R-Sylvan) by a comfortable 20 percent margin to win his second full term in the Oregon Senate. Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, appointed in December 2011 to succeed Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, won the right to serve out the remainder of her term by a 2-to-1 margin against John Verbeek.
In Portland, incumbent Senators Ginny Burdick, Chip Shields, Jackie Dingfelder and Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum all easily won election to new 4-year terms.
Democratic challengers also ran spirited campaigns in Republican-held seats.
"Our challenger candidates fought the good fight, carrying the banner for our party and giving Oregonians in these districts a clear choice for the right priorities," said Powers. "Oregonians across the state will benefit from the Senate Democratic Majority, and these candidates played a huge role in keeping our team in place".
In seats that saw the most spending and campaign activity, Senate Districts 5, 14, and 25, Democrats won 3-0.
Geri Hauser Will Put Central Oregon First
Geri Hauser, the Democratic candidate for Senate in Central Oregon's District 27, is a GIS analyst with Deschutes County. She's the best choice for the district in the upcoming election.
Her opponent wants to go to Salem to push his extreme agenda of banning abortion and giving a new tax break to people with million dollar estates.
We have a better choice. Geri Hauser has the right priorities. She'll invest in schools. She'll vote to get Central Oregon's economy back on track. And Geri will keep politicians from interfering with women's personal medical decisions, including abortion.
Head over to her website, www.gerihauser.com, to learn more about this fabulous candidate.
Also, check out her new TV ad on YouTube!
Mark Hass Named as New Deal Leader
September 17, 2012
RALEIGH HILLS--Earlier this month Senator Mark Hass (D-Raleigh Hills) was named as a pro-growth, progressive leader by the NewDEAL network.
NewDEAL (Developing Exceptional American Leaders) is a national network that highlights state legislators, and local leaders who demonstrate innovative, progressive, and pro-growth policy ideas.
"Thanks to Mark, Beaverton will now be able to offer businesses property tax abatement in exchange for significant investment and job creation," the network indicated in a press release. "Additionally, he is a leader in innovative education programs that strengthen kindergarten programs and pilot year round education."
Senator Hass appreciated the recognition for the hard work he's done to bring innovative policy to Oregon. "I'm excited to collaborate with innovative leaders from around the country and continue to work for the improvement of the state I love," said Hass.
For more information on Senator Hass and the NewDEAL network, find the page for Senator Hass here.
Senate Democrats Win in Independent Party Primaries
Voter Turnout Efforts Lead to Victories in Key Contests
July 22, 2012
PORTLAND--Earlier this morning, the Independent Party of Oregon released the results of their monthlong primary election. Final results show that Senate Democratic candidates won in races across Oregon by large margins, fueling momentum for their campaigns to win the general election in November.
Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson (D-Gresham) bested her Republican opponent by a ratio of nearly 3 to 1. House Speaker Arnie Roblan (D-Coos Bay) prevailed over his Republican opponent in Senate District by a ratio of 3 to 2. Senator Mark Hass (D-Raleigh Hills) also won his primary contest against tow truck company owner Gary Coe.
"Each of our campaigns seeking the Independent Party nomination launched a huge voter outreach effort to persuade independent voters and ensure that they cast a ballot in the primary," said Tom Powers of the Senate Democratic Leadership Fund. "Our candidates clearly have great positive messages that resonate with independent voters".
Over 650 Independent Party voters from across Oregon participated in their party's nomination process this year. The party claims that they had contested races in "9 of what are expected to be the 11 closest races for the Oregon Legislature" and that the Independent Party nomination "can mean the difference between winning and losing that election."
"This was one of the first opportunities for undecided, independent voters to pick sides in the 2012 election. By and large, these Oregonians decided that Senate Democrats have the right plan to put people back to work and prioritize critical state services," said Powers. "Our candidates will continue to campaign hard to make sure their message is heard."
You can see the full set of election results by clicking here.
Senate Democrats To Focus on Helping Middle Class Families and Small Businesses
Democratic Leaders Release Agenda for Short February Session
SALEM – Senator Diane Rosenbaum and Representative Tina Kotek, the Democratic Leaders of the Oregon Senate and House, announced their priorities for the 2012 February session this morning during a press conference at the state capitol. They outlined agendas that focus on helping middle class families and small businesses in Oregon that continue to struggle with economic recovery.
“We hear from people all across Oregon who are still working their way out of this recession,” said Kotek (D- North/Northeast Portland). “House Democrats are focused on getting Oregon families on a path to prosperity by spurring job growth, helping them stay in their homes, funding the services they count on, and making health care more affordable.”
“Democrats have a plan for the February session to address the needs of Oregonians,” said Rosenbaum (D-Portland/Milwaukie). “We are committed to protecting middle class families and supporting small businesses from all corners of the state. These Oregonians are counting on us to fight for them in these tough times.”
Rosenbaum and Kotek were joined by Ginny Real of Salem, who lost her home to foreclosure after her bank refused to work with her to renegotiate her loan, and James Vander Meide of McMinnville, a small business owner who has struggled to get access to the capital he needs to launch and grow his business. Both Oregonians called upon the Legislature to take action on these critical issues.
House and Senate Democrats’ agendas for the February session include concepts addressing the foreclosure crisis that has hit hard across our state and proposals that will spur job growth by making it easier to own and grow a business in Oregon. Democratic leaders also focused on proposals to improve accountability in the public contracting process and increase oversight of the health insurance industry to make sure that Oregonians get the greatest value out of every dollar.
“Protecting essential services that Oregonians rely on is the top priority for Democrats,” said Rosenbaum. “We will balance this budget and eliminate waste in order to protect the vital programs that serve our seniors, kids, and most vulnerable.”
“This session is about priorities. We will prioritize middle class families while holding banks and insurance companies accountable for the hard times they are putting families through” said Kotek. “And in state government we will prioritize direct services - preventing teacher layoffs in our schools, protecting in-home care for seniors and funding programs that keep people out of poverty. By making government more transparent and accountable, we are being responsive to the needs of Oregonians.”
The Senate Democratic Agenda can be found at
Dr. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward Welcomed by
Steiner Hayward appointed to succeed Sen. Suzanne Bonamici in Oregon Senate District 17
December 22, 2011
SALEM – Oregon Senate Democrats welcomed Dr. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward yesterday evening as the appointee to succeed Senator Suzanne Bonamici in Oregon Senate District 17, which is located in Northwest Portland and Washington County. Steiner Hayward was appointed by a vote of the Multnomah and Washington County
Commissions during a special joint meeting held yesterday afternoon.
“I am very pleased to welcome Elizabeth Steiner Hayward as the newest member of the Senate,” said Senate Democratic Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum (D-Portland). “Having worked with Elizabeth for many years on women's health care and other issues, I know that she will be an extremely effective and energetic voice for the people of Senate District 17 and a great addition to the Oregon Senate.”
Dr. Steiner Hayward is a family physician at OHSU and lives in unincorporated Multnomah County with her husband Michael, mother-in-law, and her two younger daughters. In addition to her work at OHSU, she is currently president of Oregon Academy of Family Physicians. She served as chair of the Academy’s Public Policy and Legislative Affairs Commission from 2002 until 2010.
“As a family physician and a mother of three I am excited to bring my perspective and expertise to the Oregon Senate,” said Senator-designee Steiner Hayward. “We need to jump-start Oregon’s economy and that begins with Washington and Multnomah County. We also must focus on reducing class sizes in our public schools, and crafting a health care system that grants everyone in Oregon access to high quality, affordable care.”
Steiner Hayward will be sworn in to the Oregon Senate at a date to be determined. Senate District 17 includes portions of NW Portland and Washington County.
Arnie Roblan to run for Oregon Senate
Ready to expand his focus on creating jobs for the Oregon coast
COOS BAY – Representative Arnie Roblan (D-Coos Bay) today announced his intention to run for State Senate District 5 in the 2012 election. Currently Co-Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives, Roblan said he’s running for the Oregon Senate to continue to bring strong leadership and new jobs to the communities of the south and central coast. Senate District 5, which runs along the Oregon coast from Coos Bay to Tillamook Bay, is currently served by Senator Joanne Verger, who recently announced that she would not seek re-election next year.
“As a former teacher and principal, I know how to get people to put aside their differences and work together. That’s what I’ve done to help create hundreds of new jobs in my House district. Now, I’m running for Senate so I can create a better economic future for families up and down Oregon’s coast,” said Roblan.
Roblan was unanimously elected as Co-Speaker of the Oregon House by his colleagues in a historic power-sharing agreement during the 2011 Legislative Session in which the House was evenly divided with 30 Democrats and 30 Republicans. Roblan’s leadership in the State House created an environment of bipartisanship, which led to a successful session that produced a balanced budget, education and health care reform, and increased support for Oregon’s small businesses.
“People on the coast know we don’t face Democratic problems or Republican problems in these tough times, we face Oregon problems,” Roblan stated. “I’ve spent my time in Salem working with folks from both sides of the aisle to find the very best ideas to bring more jobs to our state.”
During his time as State Representative, Roblan has been a champion of improving the economic climate of Oregon’s South and Central coast and standing up to Portland politicians to make sure coastal communities get their fair share. He led efforts to protect the coast’s economy by expanding the airport at North Bend and fought to restore and rebuild the Coos Bay Rail Line, helping to stop layoffs at mills and leading the way to new economic opportunities for the coast.
“Arnie’s leadership has led to increased investments in vocational training and apprenticeships so that more of our young people can become skilled tradespeople,” said Robert Westerman, a Newport resident and President of the Oregon State Association of Electrical Workers. “He’s also been critical in supporting energy jobs that can provide a decent wage here on the coast.”
Roblan has also advocated for deepening the Port at Coos Bay to bring thousands of new container jobs to the coast in the years ahead, as well as supporting bills that helped recruit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to build its Pacific base in Newport. In the House, Roblan has championed collaborative efforts to bring wave energy technology to the coast, such as the new wave energy park in Reedsport.
Roblan's effective and collaborative leadership was honored by the Oregon Business Association last month. Roblan, along with Co-Speaker Rep. Bruce Hanna (R-Roseburg), was honored as a “Statesman of the Year.” The award recognizes “extraordinary achievements for public service, consensus building and forging collaborative solutions to critical issues facing Oregon.”
“Arnie Roblan understands that our coastal region needs coastal solutions, not Salem or Portland solutions,” said Dave Kronsteiner, President of the Port of Coos Bay Commission and owner of Coos Bay-based West Coast Contractors. “As our state senator, Arnie will continue to work across party lines to advocate for the economic health of the coast.”
Roblan and his wife, Arlene, have lived in Coos Bay for nearly 40 years. Before serving as a state representative, Roblan was a math teacher, dean, and principal at Coos Bay’s Marshfield High School for 32 years.
“I’m running for the Senate to continue the good work I’ve started,” Roblan concluded. “As your Senator, I’ll keep fighting for more jobs and greater economic opportunity for families up and down the Oregon coast.”
Check out Arnie for Oregon to learn more about Rep. Arnie Roblan.
Verger announces she will not run for reelection to SenateGovernor and colleagues thank her for decades of service to Oregon Coast
“It has truly been an honor for me to serve coastal communities for over three decades. My district stretches from Coos Bay to Lincoln City and inland to Elmira and covers parts of six counties. It is big and it is beautiful. As a Representative and a Senator, I’ve been a strong advocate for the unique needs of these coastal communities,” said Verger. “I am proud of my reputation as a moderate voice on public policy and my conservative approach to spending. As a key swing vote on major legislation, I have always been a fierce defender of the Central and South Coast.”
Verger highlighted her commitment to issues as diverse as education, public safety, help for seniors and people with disabilities, support for community colleges and local governments, resources for veterans, significant transportation projects, and economic development assistance. While in the Legislature she chaired numerous committees, including the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Transportation and Economic Development in 2011, the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Public Safety in 2009, the Senate Emergency Preparedness and Ocean Policy Committee in 2007, and served as chair of the Coastal Caucus in 2007.
“Oregon is grateful for Senator Verger’s ten years of legislative service,” said Governor John Kitzhaber. “She has devoted three decades to the people of the Oregon coast. She is a model public servant, setting an example for all of us who strive to make our community, our state, and our nation a better place.”
During her public service in the Legislature, Verger took on many projects of regional and statewide importance, including championing the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay's purchase of the Coos Bay rail line, securing funding for the expansion of the Southwest Oregon Regional Airport, and supporting long‐term navigation system improvements for the Coos Bay harbor. For her focus on infrastructure projects that help the private sector create jobs, she has repeatedly been recognized as a tireless advocate for economic revitalization throughout southwest Oregon.
“I’ve had the privilege of knowing Senator Verger since she first became involved in public service, and I’ve witnessed first‐hand her dedication to our community and to the state, but also to individuals. She’s not afraid to take on any issue. She listens. And she always works to find consensus,” said Martin Callery, Chief Commercial Officer of the Port of Coos Bay. “I’ve always been impressed by Senator Verger’s dedication to the people she serves. Her leadership is a valuable asset for Oregon.”
Other community leaders joined in commending Verger’s legislative service and ability to deliver results for the people of Senate District 5.
“Senator Verger has been a tremendous asset for the people of the Oregon coast and has been instrumental in helping coastal community colleges secure funding for buildings and expansion,” said Pat O’Connor, President of Oregon Coast Community College in Newport. “She has always given us exemplary representation in the Legislature for the needs of economic development and community colleges.”
In addition to her years in the Oregon Legislature, Verger served in many local government roles, including her election as the first female mayor of Coos Bay in 1992, a position she filled for four terms. She was also a Coos Bay City Councilwoman from 1990‐1992 and sat on the Coos Bay‐North Bend Water Board for three years. Senator Verger became a League of Oregon Cities Board Member in 1995, was President of the League of Oregon Cities in 1999, and received the Legislative Leadership Award from the League of Oregon Cities in 2002.
“I have known and admired Senator Verger since she was first elected to the House in 2000,” said Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum. “Serving as the first female mayor of Coos Bay, and later the first female senator from the South Coast, she’s been a trailblazer for women in politics and an inspiration to many. Her dedication has set a high bar for any Oregonian who enters public service.”
Legislative leadership pointed to her reputation as a voice of reason, skilled at working across the political spectrum and building consensus around important issues.
“Joanne Verger has been an effective moderate voice in Salem for more than a decade. But there’s more to Joanne than a Legislative record. She has always conducted herself with class and dignity. We will miss her style. We will miss her poise. We will miss her leadership. Her retirement will leave a void in the Oregon Senate,” said Senate President Peter Courtney.
Verger moved to Coos Bay in 1969. She raised her four children in the area, owning and operating a local business for most of that time with her late husband. Reflecting on future plans, Verger said she would stay in the Coos Bay area close to family.
“Being in good health, I look forward to retirement and finishing my term in the Legislature,” said Verger. “I consider myself blessed to be a part of our close‐knit community.”
You can find the full biography for Senator Joanne Verger here: http://www.leg.state.or.us/verger/
Laurie Monnes Anderson Pledges to Continue Fighting for East County, Files for Re-ElectionSeptember 12, 2011
Salem, Ore.—Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson, a retired public health nurse, filed paperwork today to run for a third term as the State Senator from East Multnomah County. One of the legislature’s experts on health care, Monnes Anderson pledged to continue to fight for Oregon’s middle class and struggling families.
“As your state senator, I’ve worked tirelessly to grow jobs, strengthen Oregon schools and protect vulnerable members of our community,” said Monnes Anderson. “Together, we’ve made a lot of progress, but there’s still more to be done to support East County families in these challenging times. That’s why I’m running for re-election.”
Monnes Anderson has fought for solutions to unique problems faced by East County, and has made strides in the areas of public safety and creating a business-friendly environment. In the last legislative session, Senator Monnes Anderson successfully sought funding for the Portland Metro Gang Enforcement Team, which keeps East County safe through targeted crime-fighting strategies in gang-affected areas. She also introduced and passed bills to assist our local economic development programs and allow extension of our local enterprise zones that boost local job creation.
As chair of the Senate Committee on Health Care, Human Services and Rural Health Policy, Monnes Anderson has led the charge to expand access to health care and make health insurance more affordable by lowering costs for individuals and small businesses. Monnes Anderson has also championed laws that give every Oregon child access to health care and allow for children with high-risk medical conditions to remain on the same plan as their parents.
“It is an honor to serve East County in the Oregon Senate, and I am pleased that we are making headway on the challenges our community faces,” said Monnes Anderson. “As a public health nurse and experienced lawmaker, I will continue the work of making East County an even better place to live.”
Laurie Monnes Anderson has served Senate District 25, which includes Gresham, Troutdale, Wood Village and Fairview, since 2005.
For more information, please visit www.lauriemonnesanderson.com, or visit her facebook page.