One thing appears sure after a meeting in La Pine on Saturday where Republican leaders picked appointee candidates to replace Rep. Mike McLane.
Oregon House District 55 will again be represented by a Crook County resident.
Republicans from the five counties within the district came up with a list that includes Prineville real estate broker Vikki Iverson Breese, Deborah Tilden, a local resident who chairs the Central Oregon Federation of Republican Women, and Pete Sharp, who has run multiple times, unsuccessfully, for Crook County government positions.
McLane stepped down on July 1 after serving on the Oregon Legislature since 2011, to fill a vacant circuit court judge position in the 22nd judicial district, which serves Crook and Jefferson counties.
The process to fill McLane's vacant seat is determined by several state statutes. The appointment must be made by the county courts, or board of county commissioners, in each county within the district. House District 55 includes all of Crook County and portions of Deschutes, Jackson, Klamath and Lake counties. Each county is entitled one vote for each every 1,000 registered voters within the district, and the votes are portioned equally to each county commissioner in each county.
Now that the field is set, county commissioners and judges from each county within the district will cast their votes for the person they prefer. As dictated by statute, rounds of voting will continue until one candidate receives more than 50 percent of the votes.
According to Mike Trout, director of elections with the Secretary of State's Office, Crook County will get 18 votes, followed by Jackson County with 16. Deschutes County will get 11 votes, Klamath will get six votes and Lake County will receive two. The vacancy must be filled no later than Aug. 13.
Once the appointee is sworn in, they will serve House District 55 for the remainder of McLane's elected term, which concludes Dec. 31, 2020. Consequently, they will represent the district during the 2020 legislative session.
The position will then be filled by election in November 2020.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.