Legislature — Thatcher announces she will run for state senator's spot

After serving two terms, state Sen. Larry George announced Tuesday that he would not seek re-election.

George pointed to family considerations as reason for stepping down when his term expires in January 2015.Larry George

“It has been an honor to serve the people of Senate District 13,” George said in a press release. “Since my election to the Oregon Senate I have gotten married and my wife and I now have two beautiful daughters. I realized that this is the time in our life for family.”

The announcement comes after George’s work in October on Gov. John Kitzhaber’s “Grand Bargain,” where he was a chief architect, along with Sen. Brian Boquist, of a business tax cut passed during a three-day special session.

“When I entered the Senate in 2007 there were 19 Democrats and only 11 Republicans. With such lopsided power, bitter partisanship and ideological extremism controlled the Senate,” George said. “I worked hard during recent elections to move the Oregon Senate to a more balanced 16 Democrats and 14 Republicans — this forced much more bi-partisan cooperation and ultimately led to successes for Oregonians. All of these successes were made possible by the team approach the Senate takes to the business of the state. I encourage my colleagues to keep up the spirit of cooperation which has led to so many great outcomes for Oregonians.”

Sal Peralta, a candidate for Yamhill County Board of Commissioners Position 1, said especially given that George was working from the minority for most of his tenure, he was one of the most effective legislators he had seen.

“I believe that phase I of the Newberg-Dundee bypass would likely not be moving forward without his work on the state transportation bill in 2009,” Peralta said in a press release. “His departure from the State Senate is a big loss for Yamhill County. I wish him every success in his future endeavors.”Kim Thatcher

State Rep. Kim Thatcher, currently representing House District 25 — serving Newberg and St. Paul, among other communities — said she would run for George’s position within hours of his announcement.

“I’ve been honored to serve in the Oregon House of Representatives over the past 10 years and work closely with (George) on a number of important issues,” Thatcher said in a press release. “Sen. George’s skills and leadership will be missed. I will do my best to go forward in some of the key areas the senator and I have worked on and look for new opportunities to help the citizens of our great state.”

Bill Post, conservative talk show host on 1430 KYKN in Keizer, also announced his candidacy, although for Thatcher’s position in the House.

“I love Oregon and I want to make a difference in people’s lives,” Post said in a press release. “I have been so fortunate to have (Thatcher) as my state representative and now I am thrilled and want to continue, and even extend the great work she has already done over the past 10 years in our district.”

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