Republican state Rep. Suzanne Weber will run to replace Sen. Betsy Johnson next year.
Weber announced her candidacy in a video posted to Facebook last Thursday, Oct. 14, The Astorian first reported.
Weber said that "there are no bigger shoes to fill in Oregon politics than those of Senator Johnson," who declared her run for governor just hours before Weber's announcement.
"I will work every single day to live up to her legacy as an independent, nonpartisan leader here in rural northwest Oregon," Weber said in the video.
Weber took office representing House District 32 in January 2021, after winning 54% of the vote against her Democratic opponent, Debbie Boothe-Schmidt of Warrenton.
Weber is the first Republican to represent Oregon's North Coast since 1983.
Under the newly drawn district lines, House District 32 became slightly more Democrat-friendly, while neighboring House District 31 became significantly more Republican-friendly, according to an analysis by Dave's Redistricting.
Senate District 16, which includes HD 31 and HD 32, shifted rightward under the new boundaries.
"Senator Johnson has been a model for me in working in a non-partisan, independent manner, doing what it takes to get to 'yes,' and working with anyone and everyone to get there, no matter their political affiliation," Weber said of the moderate Democrat she hopes to follow.
In the video, Weber asked for support in her effort "to bring our common sense to Salem."
A former teacher, Weber has served on the House early childhood and education committees.
She is a proponent of "state legislation that protects the ability of Oregon's distinct communities to decide for themselves what their priorities are" and is "strongly opposed to the myriad of tax, fee and regulation increases coming out of Salem," according to her campaign website.
With Weber running for Senate and state Rep. Brad Witt, D-Clatskanie, not seeking re-election in HD 31, both seats will be open in the 2022 elections.
Brian Stout of Columbia City, a small business owner and Republican nominee in 2018 and 2020, has already announced he'll run again in HD 31. That redrawn district includes nearly all of Columbia County, plus most of rural western Washington County outside the larger cities of Hillsboro, Forest Grove and Cornelius.
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