Sen. Chuck Thomsen announces intent to retire next year
When Oregon was redistricted this year, Senate District 26 Senator Chuck Thomsen (R-Hood River) commented that he was happy to see his district return to a more rural representation, pushing further out of the Metro and into The Dalles and Canby. While this change excites Thomsen, he has decided to not seek re-election in 2022, and instead to support House District 59 Rep. Daniel Bonham's bid for the seat.
"(Twelve) years is a long time. It is simply the right moment to pass the torch," Thomsen said in a statement announcing his intention to retire.
Daniel Bonham (R-The Dalles) has served as state representative for House District 59 since being appointed to the position in 2017. Bonham is a small business owner from The Dalles, and he intends to "compare notes and campaign together" with Thomsen in his run for Senate 26.
"Daniel Bonham is a good man and committed public servant," Thomsen explained. "I'm happy he wants to do this, and I will be supporting him."
"I am grateful to Sen. Thomsen for his service and his encouragement to take this step," Bonham said. "House District 59 and the new Senate District 26 contain diverse communities, yet they share common values and interests. I am looking forward to serving the new district and working closely with Sen. Thomsen on this upcoming campaign."
Local leaders, such as Republican Leader Christine Drazan (R-Canby), former Sen. Alan Olsen (R-Canby) and former Rep. Mark Johnson (R-Hood River) have expressed support for Bonham's campaign.
"I have worked closely with Rep. Bonham during our time in the Oregon House," Drazan said. "He builds strong coalitions and capably advocates for his constituents' interests. He has my full support and I look forward to working with him on behalf of our shared constituents, as our next state senator."
Drazan intends to continue her service in new House District 51, which will comprise of half of Senate District 26.
"Serving with Rep. Bonham was a pleasure, and I can't think of anyone better for the job," said Olsen.
"Daniel Bonham is a proven, skilled legislator," Johnson added. "I have no doubts he can continue his work in Salem and serve our diverse district well."
Bonham was one of few legislators uniquely affected by the recent redistricting, which relocated him within the same district boundaries as House District 52 Rep. Anna Williams. Had he decided to seek a House position within his district, he would have had to run against Williams in the next election.
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