From the Capitol: Rep. Bill Post shares thoughts on November
I'm going to venture a guess that whoever is reading this now is very thankful that the election is over, mostly because we can safely watch television again! Wow, there were a lot of ads on TV. I join you in giving thanks for the barrage being over.
So, now that the election is over here in Oregon we also have much to give thanks for. Our vote by mail system is fantastic and though the voter turnout was not as great as I would have liked, it was very good.
I look forward to working with St. Paul's returning mayor Kim Wallis and the new and returning city councilors.
In the Oregon Legislature, we have a fairly historic situation. There are 38 House Democrats and 22 House Republicans. That means a "supermajority" in the House and with 18 Senate Democrats and 12 Senate Republicans, the same for the "senior chamber."
The biggest issue right now is who will lead those groups? The House Democrats have already elected their leadership with only a couple of minor changes to the team. The House Republicans have not chosen their leadership team nor have the Senate Republicans.
Meanwhile the Senate Democrats will be meeting the weekend before this column comes out. Will the Senate Democrats remain in the sort of mode they've maintained for many years? More of a moderate, bipartisan approach, keeping Senate President Peter Courtney in place? Or will the more left-leaning newer members sway the "old guard" that a move to the "left" is what Oregon wants? With the House and Senate Republicans, a similar question is being asked: "Do we have anything to lose by going more to the 'right'?"
Though this is the time of the year when not much is being done in the Legislature as far as policy, you can see that it is humming with activity based on these internal elections.
On a lighter note, each member is now in the process of choosing their office, parking spot and floor desk location. For those of us in the House, it is done on a seniority and alphabetical basis. It's quite alarming that the turnover in seats, via retirement or elections, has made me a "senior" representative! Of course, where my office is or where I park or sit on the House floor is not the most pressing issue of the day but it is part of the job.
Lastly, I want to thank everyone who got out and voted Nov. 6. I am humbled and grateful that you chose once again to allow me to serve you in Salem. I promise as always, though you might not always agree with me politically, I will always tell you the truth and try to give you an "inside" view of life in the Capitol as well as represent you to the best of my ability.
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