Rep. Iverson named House Republican Leader
Crook County is once again represented in the state legislature by a Republican leader.
House District 55 Representative and Prineville resident Vikki Breese-Iverson was selected Tuesday by House Republicans to serve as their new leader. The decision comes on the heels of Rep. Christine Drazan (R-Canby) stepping down from the role, which she had held since 2019. Drazan said she stepped down "to focus my efforts on preparations to serve our state in a new way."
"It's an honor to be chosen by my friends and colleagues for this role," Iverson said. "I'm proud of the work that this caucus has achieved together in recent years, standing up to the one-party dominance that controls this state. The size of state government has ballooned after a decade of Democrats' liberal agenda-driven focus and as a result made Oregon more expensive for everyone. I look forward to continuing our work in this new role to fight for much-needed balance. House Republicans will not stop pushing for solutions that focus on the actual needs of Oregonians."
Iverson was appointed to the House District 55 position in August 2019, replacing Mike McLane, who stepped down to pursue a Crook and Jefferson County Circuit Court position. McLane served as House Republican leader for six of his nearly nine years in office, meaning this is the second time a Crook County resident will hold the leadership role.
Iverson was born and raised in Prineville and is a fifth-generation ranch girl. After leaving town to attend college, she returned to Crook County briefly before finding employment in Salem working for an attorney.
"From there, I went to work at the capitol," she said. "I worked for Sen. Ted Ferrioli. I worked for him during session and then in between sessions, I did campaigns and continued working as his legislative director."
During her time at the capitol, between 1998 and 2001, she helped a couple of people get elected to state office, including Bev Clarno's election to the Oregon senate. She also worked in the House Majority Office for Majority Leader Karen Minnis.
Then Iverson's career path changed. She needed to return to her home town to care for family and while she was there, she got her real estate license, met and got married to her husband, Bryan, and had two children. Her real estate career continues to this day as principal broker with Windermere Swifterra, in Prineville.
While the real estate profession isn't directly associated with state politics, Iverson continued to stay involved in Oregon government. Her work for Ferrioli, who is from John Day, had a large emphasis on natural resources and land use.
The recent redistricting effort has resulted in Crook County becoming part of House District 59, which is confined exclusively to Central Oregon. In addition to Crook County, it includes portions of northern Deschutes County and much of Jefferson County including Madras as well as northern portions of Redmond and Sisters.
Iverson announced in mid-November that she intends to run for the altered 59th district, although she will likely have to wait until at least mid-January to file and make the bid official.
The transition to House Republican Leader coincides with Gov. Kate Brown calling a special legislative session to extend temporary protections against eviction for tenants awaiting rental assistance. Iverson issued a statement in opposition to the Dec. 13 session.
"We must allow our economy to return to normal," she said. "Our unemployment level, jobless claims and job openings have returned to pre-pandemic years. A special session is unnecessary. After back-to-back years of record state revenue, the Emergency Board has the ability to allocate funds to support those already in line to receive rent assistance."
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