COURTESY PHOTO - Patti MilnePatti Milne, a former county commissioner, state representative and school board member, announced Jan. 27 that she will run as a Republican for the open legislative seat in House District 22.

“After speaking with my friends and family and hearing from people in my community about the challenges facing our state, I am officially announcing my candidacy for House District 22,” Milne said. “There has been no greater honor in my life than serving the people of Woodburn, Gervais, Brooks and Salem. I know there is more I can do to ensure that our communities have access to a quality education system, strong public safety services and an effective and accountable government. I humbly ask the voters in House District 22 for their support and for an opportunity to once again be their voice in the Capitol.”

Milne’s public service career began with her election to the Woodburn School Board in 1988. She later served three terms as a member of the Oregon House of Representatives from 1993 to 1998 before joining the Marion County Board of Commissioners from 1999 to 2014. In November 2014, she ran against and was defeated by incumbent Peter Courtney for the State Senate District 11 seat.

Local business owner Jack Bigej and current Marion County Commissioner Kevin Cameron have already spoken up in support of Milne.

“I’m excited that Patti has chosen to run for the Oregon House,” Bigej, owner of Al’s Garden Centers and Greenhouses, said. “Patti would be a refreshing choice with no hidden agendas, just logic and common sense. She is a true public servant and would make an excellent state representative.”

In addition to her extensive public service record, Milne has served on boards for Blanchet Catholic School, Northwest Senior and Disability Services, SEDCOR, Willamette Valley Hospice, St. Joseph Shelter, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church and Travel Salem. Together with Jerry Howard of Volcanoes Baseball, Milne co-founded and currently chairs “Striking out Meth in Marion-Polk Counties,” a highly successful 10-year community initiative with the goal of reducing neighborhood drug abuse and violence, now known as SOSA. Milne also helped establish the Marion County Veterans’ Task Force, which provides resources and support to Marion County veterans and their families. Milne, a longtime member of the Salem and Woodburn chambers of commerce and a past president of the Woodburn Rotary, was named 2014 Senior First Citizen in Woodburn.

“Patti and her husband Stan have long been valuable contributors to the Woodburn and Salem area,” Cameron said. “Their commitment to community organizations and public service have had a profoundly positive impact on our citizens. Our community would be blessed to have Patti serve in the state house again.”

House Republican Leader Mike McLane also weighed in on Milne's announcement.

“There is no one better prepared to serve the citizens of House District 22 than Patti Milne,” he said. “Her experience as both a legislator and a county commissioner will provide residents of Woodburn and Salem with a leader at the Capitol who understands the needs of the district and has a long, effective track record of delivering results for her constituents.”

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