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Republicans see opportunity to win House District 40 from freshman legislator from Gladstone

Oregon City resident and business development coordinator Josh Hill officially announced this week that he will seek the Republican nomination for House District 40.

Josh HillHill works for West Coast Container Inc., a West Linn-based food and beverage packaging company. Hill opened his campaign to unseat State Rep. Mark Meek with a promise to be an advocate for Oregonians of all ages, backgrounds and political perspectives.

"We live in a rapidly growing and increasingly diverse community in our state," Hill said. "As the next state representative for Oregon City and Gladstone, I will be a leader who will be responsive to the needs of our friends and neighbors and who will put the priorities of our district ahead of the partisan politics in Salem. I firmly believe there is so much more that unites our community than divides us, and I pledge to be the kind of positive consensus builder our district can be proud of."

House District 40 includes Oregon City, Gladstone and Johnson City, as well as the unincorporated Jennings Lodge, Oak Grove and Oatfield.

Rep. Mark MeekState Rep. Mark Meek (D-Gladstone) announced in October that he will seek re-election in 2018. At the time of Meek's announcement, Hill had filed for the Republican nomination but had not yet developed a campaign platform.

Meek was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in Nov. 2016, defeating his Republican opponent by nearly eight points in one of Oregon's most competitive house districts. The tenant-protection bill supported by Meek will be a major division between the Meek and Hill campaigns.

Hill's great-grandfather owned a restaurant and managed a community cafe in Vanport that served a diverse customer base despite racial discrimination. While he lost his parents at an early age, Hill was raised by his grandparents in the Portland metro area. Hill recently purchased a home in Oregon City's Caufield neighborhood.

At West Coast Container, Hill works with manufacturers, logistics and distribution teams to produce, build and ship packaging goods internationally. Hill says the job has allowed him to see how jobs are created locally in spite of over-taxation and overregulation by politicians in Salem and Washington D.C.

If Meek faces Hill in the November 2018 election, it would be the first time in history that District 40 voters were offered a choice between a Latino and an African-Sen. Jackie WintersAmerican. Counting State Sen. Jackie Winters as his first political mentor, Hill wants to bring Oregonians of different racial and socioeconomic backgrounds together to achieve positive change.

"Through an incredibly blessed set of circumstances I've been able to speak out and be a leader for my community. As a millennial, we are now the largest living generation and our concerns for the future deserve to be heard," Josh said. "Becoming a homeowner and taxpayer in the founding city of Oregon is a tremendous honor and means a great deal to my family, given this right was denied to many of my ancestors."

Hill graduated from Westview High School in Beaverton. In 2013, he earned a bachelor's degree in political science at Linfield College in McMinnville, where he led the Wildcat football team to consecutive playoff appearances and multiple All-League honors.

Hill received a Congressional Nomination for admittance into the United States Air Force Academy, where he played quarterback for the Falcons. After honorable discharge from the Air Force, he returned to Oregon to tend to his ailing grandparents who were fighting cancer.

Hill lives with his college sweetheart, who works as a nurse.

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