A conservative state senator from Myrtle Creek is the new chair of the Oregon Republican Party, following an event Saturday in which Republicans overhauled their top party leadership.
According to multiple Republican sources, state Sen. Dallas Heard handily won the job, beating three-term chair and Adair Village Mayor Bill Currier.
Heard, 35, is just one in a slate of current and former Republican senators who now have a central role in steering the party's course. Former Senate Minority Leader Herman Baertschiger Jr., now a Josephine County commissioner, won a contested race for vice chair. And state Sen. Dennis Linthicum, R-Klamath Falls, will serve as party treasurer.
A third sitting state senator, Chuck Thomsen of Hood River, was unsuccessful in his bid to serve as the party's secretary. He was defeated by incumbent secretary Becky Mitts, who also serves as chief of staff to state Rep. Mike Nearman, a Republican from Polk County.
"It's just kind of taking the party in a little different direction, a different type of leadership," Baerstchiger said Sunday. "No criticism really of the prior leadership. … It wasn't like there was some kind of coup."
Oregon Public Broadcasting is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. Their story can be found here.
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