Last night, Democratic Precinct Committee Persons from Clatsop, Columbia, Multnomah, Tillamook, and Washington counties nominated Melissa Busch (Warren), Rachel Armitage (Warren), and Nadia Gardner (Arch Cape) to complete the remainder of Betsy Johnson’s term in Salem.
Columbia County resident Melissa Busch lives in Warren, Oregon with her partner and three children. Busch is a home health nurse who travels the county visiting patients in their homes and long-term care settings, providing care and connection before and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. She has also volunteered at numerous vaccine clinics in the county.
“I know the challenges our community faces because I see my patients navigating those challenges every day,” Busch says. “Parents lack affordable childcare, schools lack crucial resources, and families are regularly confronted with impossible choices like whether to buy groceries or pay for prescription medications. As a working mother and a union member, I understand how important it is that we have family wage jobs, good benefits, and safe working conditions. This was true before the COVID-19 pandemic. As our next State Senator I will stand up for our community just like I stand up for my patients.”
Busch announced her intention to run for Johnson’s seat in November, 2021. Her endorsements include the Oregon Nurses Association and Chair of the Oregon House of Representatives Committee on Health Care, Representative Rachel Prusak.
Columbia County resident Rachel Armitage lives in Warren, Oregon with her husband and stepdaughter. She previously worked as a Legislative Assistant in the 2016 and 2017 legislative sessions, focusing on constituent service and issues such as education, and rights for foster youth. If appointed, Armitage's legislative experience will allow her to hit the ground running in the Legislature with a focus on jobs and housing.
“As a lifelong Oregonian and the daughter of a teacher and a pastor, I know that community is often what gets us through hard times," said Armitage. "That's why I'm seeking this appointment. Our community needs a leader in Salem who brings us together even when we have strong disagreements—who will be an independent voice for rural Oregonians.”
Nadia Gardner is a 20-year North Coast resident, who has always been very active in local politics. She lives in the unincorporated Clatsop County community of Arch Cape with her partner and six year old son. She is the Chair of the Clatsop County Planning Commission. She is elected as a Director on the Arch Cape Domestic Water Supply District Board. In addition to providing critical governance and financial oversight, the Board is leading the acquisition of Arch Capes’s 1,500-acre forested drinking watershed.
“I am a scientist with expertise on our forests, rivers, estuaries and ocean and how they contribute to human health and community livability. My scientific background leads me to find proven solutions to tough problems,” Gardner says. “I am running because this is a critical moment, and I am the dedicated, knowledgeable, and experienced candidate to bring forward the right solutions.”
Clatsop, Columbia, Multnomah, Tillamook, Washington, and Yamhill County Commissions will hold a joint meeting on January 14th to select Johnson’s replacement. The term for that Senate seat runs through 2022.