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Entries in House Democrats (3)

Thursday
Sep012011

Hunt to Run for Clackamas County Chair

Rep. Dave Hunt, D-Gladstone, the former House Speaker who was ousted as caucus leader by his fellow House Democrats after the 2011 session, says he will seek election as chair of the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners.

Rep. Dave Hunt, D-Gladstone, will run for Clackamas County Chair in 2012.Hunt hasn't made a public announcement about his intentions, but he has told several insiders his decision is final. Hunt would challenge Commissioner Charlotte Lehan for the seat. Lehan was appointed by her fellow commissioners when Lynn Peterson accepted an appointment as a transportation and sustainability policy advisor on Governor Kitzhaber's staff.

Hunt's retreat from the Oregon legislature comes after a year of defeats for him. Hunt served as House Speaker in 2009, presiding over a 36-seat supermajority for House Democrats. The party lost six seats and the majority to Republicans in the 2010 elections following a bruising referendum battle over tax increases Hunt pushed through. The battle eroded for some his image as a pro-business Democrat.

The resulting 30-30 split in the House led to an agreement of split leadership. Hunt's fellow Democrats chose Rep. Arnie Roblan of Coos Bay to be co-speaker with Rep. Bruce Hanna, R-Roseburg. Hunt's consolation prize for losing the speakership was his election as Democratic caucus leader.

At least since 2007, House Democrats have held caucus elections immediately following session adjournment. This year was no different, and  House Democrats voted Rep. Tina Kotek, D-Portland, as their new caucus leader.

Tuesday
Jul052011

Grading The Legislative Session: Probably B

At the risk of sounding like a teacher, I would give the legislature about a B grade this session.

Last Thursday at about 2:45 p.m. — a reasonable hour by past standards — the session closed to the normal huzzahs for a job well done. To be sure, the legislature can take credit for accomplishments in the areas of education, health care and redistricting.

In a House marked by split control for the first time in Oregon's history, it would be normal to count the accomplishments; each side was equally in charge, so each would get the credit or the debit.

In the Senate, Republicans, who were in the minority by one vote, came across as more critical, especially in regard to their session-long complaint that there was not enough focus on job creation.

Here are a few perceptions about the legislative session beyond the education, health care and redistricting subjects:

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Friday
Jul012011

House Democrats Shake Up the Caucus After Sine Die

Oregon House Democrats ousted Rep. Dave Hunt, D-Gladstone, as their caucus leader Thursday night and voted in Rep. Tina Kotek, D-North Portland.

The elections came just a half hour after the legislature adjourned Thursday afternoon. Throughout the legislative session, rumors circulated of division and discontent within the caucus, and much of the blame fell to Hunt.

The June 30 post-session caucus election had been scheduled for months, according to Hunt.

Other sources said the election was part of a deal worked out in December to end a power struggle within the caucus. Hunt's peers elected him caucus leader in December, following an election that left the House split with 30 Republicans and 30 Democrats. Hunt was Speaker of the House before the election, but he was replaced by Rep. Arnie Roblan, D-Coos Bay, whom many thought would be able to wor

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