Oregon's newest state representative has taken office.
Rep. Raquel Moore-Green, R-Salem, was sworn in Thursday, July 25, by Oregon Supreme Court Justice Meagan Flynn in the Oregon House. Among the crowd were dozens of friends and family, as well as a handful of lawmakers.
"It's an honor and a privilege to be trusted to serve those people," she said.
Moore-Green was appointed unanimously by the Marion County Commission on Tuesday to fill the void left by Sen. Denyc Boles. Boles, formerly a representative, was picked to fill the late Jackie Winters' seat in June. Winters died of lung cancer in May.
Moore-Green said it's too early to characterize her approach to the job or say what issues she wants to champion. "I need to get my bearings. There are a lot of moving pieces," she said. "I certainly want to hear from constituents."
Moore-Green said she's been entrenched in the Salem community for 24 years. She works as a consultant but has also been a legislative staffer. She plans on leaning on those connections in the coming weeks and months to better understand the issues of her district.
"I'm going to go on a listening tour," she said. "I am going to be out in the communities, City Council meetings, events and hopefully meeting people and hearing from them."
In explaining their appointment, Marion County commissioners said they picked Moore-Green primarily because they felt she would run the best campaign in the fall to keep the seat. Moore-Green said she's already working to that end. Her chief of staff, Pam McClain, who was Winters' chief of staff and daughter-in-law, said she sees the drive in Moore-Green.
She's hit the ground running and hasn't taken a breath yet, McClain said. "She's ready to work. She's going to be out there, so expect to see her."
Moore-Green said becoming a state lawmaker wasn't a lifelong goal. It just happened to be the right thing at the right time. "It just happened," she said. "The time was right. I just feel there were many, many puzzle pieces that fell into place."
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