The Powell Butte resident has served as Oregons House District 55 representative for the past three years

During his first two terms as representative for Oregon House District 55, Republican Mike McLane has tried to focus on economic growth.

As he seeks another term, he hopes to maintain that objective with an emphasis on job creation and budget improvement.

"I have worked on them in the past, and will continue to in the future," he said.

If re-elected, McLane would bring four years of experience to the office as well as a position as House Minority Leader. However, the Powell Butte resident believes his upbringing and commitment to the rural lifestyle set him apart from other potential challengers.

"I'm a small-town kid who has chosen to raise his family in a small-town life," he said. "You will find no fiercer advocate for our way of life than me, because I'm not just fighting for a rural community. I'm fighting for Oregon to be a place where my children will not have to go out of state to prosper."

To meet that goal, McLane has found that he has to take successes where he can find them.

"Where there is low-hanging fruit, pluck it," he said. "You have to identify the issues that affect this district and Crook County and you take them on one by one."

McLane said that some sacred cows exist in state government, including taxation, the land-use system, and the environmental agenda of the Democratic Party.

"Things that are pretty major forces that you have to learn to navigate," he said. "But, if we don't put pressure on those forces, we don't have a state where our grandkids can be raised. I put that in the sense that our kids are going to have to find good-paying jobs, and if they have to go to Texas or North Dakota to get them, they will."

In the months leading up to the election, McLane will participate in the 2014 legislative session. During that session, he hopes to pass a new bill he introduced that will fast-track industrial citing in rural communities and areas with high unemployment. In doing so, he hopes to encourage more manufacturing businesses to choose Crook County and other rural areas.

"We have a resource out here that can be used by companies," McLane said. "We have smart, hard-working people. We have a lot of timber resources. We want to be a place where manufacturing companies want to be."

At this point, McLane feels that the economy has made some gains, but acknowledges that recovery has been slow. He feels the state can improve on its current unemployment situation, and not accept it as the new normal.

"It doesn't have to be that way, and there are things Oregon can do to get out."

Consequently, he is hoping that voters will once again give him a chance to lead that charge.

"I know that as long as I am in public service, I am going to be doing my best to make sure that the millennial generation has the option to prosper here rather than leave the state," he said.

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