Commissioners to vote on Johnson's District 52 position, date to be determined

FILE PHOTO - Rep. Mark Johnson is in his fourth term as representative of House District 52. Most have probably heard by now that Rep. Mark Johnson, R-Hood River, has decided to resign his House District 52 seat.

The four-term representative recently accepted a position as the executive director of OBI, a lobbying group consisting of Oregon Business Association and Associated Oregon Industries groups that focuses on job creation and stimulating Oregon's economy.

Johnson told The Post he plans to make Nov. 1 the last day of his tenure in the Legislature. After that, who will fill his shoes?

A letter of resignation sent to Secretary of State Dennis Richardson triggers a 30-day period when the state Republican Party Committee must put forth nominees. County commissioners from Hood River, Clackamas and Multnomah counties are required to meet and appoint a new representative.

The commissioners will hold a public hearing, which will allow for public comment and candidate interviews.

With the majority of District 52 constituents residing in Clackamas County, its commissioners will receive the greater weighted vote.

As out-of-the-ordinary as some may find this practice, Tim Heider, public affairs manager for the Clackamas board of commissioners, said this will be the third appointment in his nine-year career.

"It's not uncommon," he added. "Our commissioners are beginning to become old hats at it."

In 2009, Martha Schrader replaced her husband Kurt Schrader as the District 20 senator, as voted in by Clackamas and Marion county voters. In 2014, Ann Lininger was appointed by a joint hearing of the Clackamas and Multnomah counties' boards to replace then-House District 38 representative Chris Garrett. More recently, Lininger actually resigned that seat, and the counties again had to vote in a replacement, appointing Andrea Salinas in early September.

As Johnson has yet to submit his formal resignation, the date and location is still unknown. Heider said he believes the hearing will take place in November.

One candidate is currently vying for the appointment, Stan Pullman, R-Sandy, who plans to also run in the November 2018 election.

The Post will update readers as nominees are announced and an appointment is made.

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