Rockaway, Astoria residents announce legislative candidacy for May primary

March 6 was the last date to file for the May primary for Oregon House District 32 seat being vacated by Rep. Deborah Boone – who is not seeking an eighth term.

After 20 years as a Tillamook County Commissioner, Tim Josi announced candidacy Jan. 3 for the seat he held for eight years until Term Limits forced him out.

Running against Josi in the Democratic primary is Clatsop County attorney John Orr. Rockaway Beach resident Brian P. Halvorsen is running as an Independent and Gene Stout, a general contractor from Banks, has filed as a Republican.

Brian P. Halvorsen

Brian P. Halvorsen of Rockaway Beach officially announced his candidacy for Oregon House District 32 in the Independent Party primary in January. Halvorsen filed for office in September of last year and has been meeting with voters and community groups to hear their concerns ever since. A newcomer to the political process, Halvorsen moved to Tillamook County full-time in January 2016 and shortly thereafter founded a community group called North Coast Progressives. Their mission is to provide resources to activists, candidates and voters to further progressive campaigns and causes in local communities.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to make my case to the voters of the 32nd District,” Halvorsen said. “I will refuse to take campaign donations from corporations or Super PACs, instead I’ll rely on small dollar donations from the people. For far too long the Democratic and Republican parties have sold us out to the highest campaign donor. It’s time to change that: You will be my boss, not big business.” Halvorsen’s campaign will focus on issues that matter to working-class voters, like fixing income inequality by taxing large corporations, who pay the lowest effective business tax in the nation. The campaign will fight for tax breaks for small businesses and working Oregonians which will spur economic growth, not exempting the wealthy from paying their fair share. A specific issue that Halvorsen highlighted is a need to end the state’s pass-through tax shift created in 2013 that benefits wealthy Oregonians by allowing them to pay personal tax rates on corporate taxes. The state has lost over $300 million since its institution.

Halvorsen said, “By no means would I support a sales tax, which would hurt the poorest Oregonians hardest. It’s an issue that both major parties refuse to let die. I’ll defend the will of the voters, which has been heard loud and clear in opposition to a sales tax.”

“I may be a political newcomer, but I believe that is what we need at this moment”, Halvorsen added. “Both parties rule for their donors and not the voters. This is District 32’s chance to shake up the system and send a message to Salem that the status-quo is not working for us.” Other issues Halvorsen’s campaign will focus on is enacting effective campaign finance reform statewide, promoting environmental responsibility to combat climate change, making the fishing and timber industries sustainable and safer careers and enacting a more effective emergency management program. Those interested in finding out more about Halvorsen’s campaign can visit or can email the campaign directly at [email protected].

He will be hosting campaign events in Clatsop and Washington counties in March.

Halvorsen capped his announcement by saying, “I look forward to hearing from the voters. Even if we don’t agree on every issue, I’ll always make myself available to hear you out. If elected I’ll be the most accessible legislator in Oregon.”

John Orr

John Orr has filed to run for the Oregon House of Representatives, serving the residents of District 32. Orr is running to address the stability of the state’s finances and enhance public education, housing, social services, environmental protection and job creation. “We face challenges in the state and the district that require a steady hand,” said Orr. “Many state issues are also our local issues and I am best prepared to fight for District 32.”

Orr has a long history of action on issues along the North Coast of Oregon. He is an attorney who worked on criminal and family law, juvenile dependency, mental health and land use. He also served as Municipal Court Judge. Orr has been active in forest products recycling, salmon habitat restoration and wetlands mitigation.

“I have made the North Coast my home for most of my adult life and feel that public service is an ethical obligation I have for the privilege of living here,” Orr said. “I offer new energy, new perspectives and new dedication to help invigorate the legislature with what I have learned from my different experiences with the people of District 32.”

Orr brings a unique perspective to the House seat because of his experience helping people in the District. “I have an intimate knowledge of the economic and social problems of our North Coast community because of my work helping people navigate our justice system,” Orr said. “I know how laws are made, how they are applied and where they can go wrong. And when they go wrong, people, businesses and the environment can be hurt.”

An avid outdoorsman, Orr has hiked, fished and camped throughout the North Coast. He has lived in the District for 28 years and is well versed in the environmental issues in the area. “I believe in protecting natural resources while promoting sustainable economic development, including biomass energy,” Orr said.

More information about John Orr and his campaign for the District 32 seat in the Oregon House of Representatives can be found on his website, and his Facebook page, John Orr For State House.

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