Rep. Ron Noble touts bipartisanship in re-election bid
Oregon State Rep. Ron Noble of Carlton says he wants to head back to Salem to continue working across the political aisle, particularly on legislation that will boost resources for victims of domestic violence and unhoused people.
Noble has lived in the Willamette Valley since 1974 and served as a police officer for 28 years. He was the chief of police in McMinnville from 2006 to 2014 and served as the president of the Oregon Association Chiefs of Police from 2013 to 2014. He has represented House District 24, a district that covers a largely rural area stretching from McMinnville and Dundee to rural Cornelius and Hillsboro, since 2016.
Noble has recently served as vice-chair of the House Committee on Human Services and Housing and the co-vice-chair of the Joint Committee on Transportation.
He will face Democrat Lynnette Shaw, a newcomer to politics, of Carlton in the fall.
Noble acknowledges that the bipartisanship he says he typically helps facilitate broke down in the last session as Republicans, including himself, walked out of the Capitol in protest over carbon cap-and-trade legislation. And although he maintains the walkout was necessary, Noble said his participation in the walkout was not characteristic of his typical governing style.
"The most difficult thing I've done in my legislative career was to not show up because it's not the way I do business," Noble said. "Our democratic republic was specifically set up to make sure the minority had a voice. There are a bunch of tools we have. Most of the time it's negotiations. In this particular situation, (the walkout) was the only tool we had."
Noble said he isn't a climate change denier, and he believes action to address carbon emissions is necessary. But he said he couldn't sign on to a bill that would have forced the closure of certain businesses in his district, including one of two steel mills in the state, Cascade Steel Rolling Mills.
"I'm not convinced that cap-and-trade is the best way," Noble said. "I think that we can find a solution that doesn't necessitate corporate carve-outs and devastation of rural Oregon."
He said important bipartisan bills got left behind in the last session that he hopes to advance if re-elected in the fall.
"If you look for common ground, there's always common ground," Noble said. "Once you're doing that, you feel like you have an ability to make a difference."
Noble was the chief sponsor of House Bill 4112, which would have set up a fund to support nonprofit intervention centers for victims of child abuse and their families.
"Most of that is to help keep up with the latest medical research, trauma-informed and age-appropriate practices," Noble said.
He also helped author House Bill 4133, which would have appropriated $2 million to fund additional domestic violence specialist positions within the Oregon Department of Human Services child welfare offices.
"In the 2019 session, some of that money was cut," Noble said. "So Multnomah County lost their position, and many other child welfare offices lost those positions."
Through his work on the Committee on Human Services and Housing, Noble also sponsored a bill authored by House Speaker Tina Kotek that would have provided funding for temporary emergency shelters to serve people facing homelessness.
"I still have this idea that it takes some time, maybe it's because I was a cop for so long, there are some people who need a hand," Noble said. "And most of the time, they're willing to step up and walk along."
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