Commentary

Oregon state legislator imposes his own term limit

Bill Post believes in concept of a “citizen legislature” and is ready to leave the Oregon House

October 11, 2021 6:30 am

State Rep. Bill Post, R-Keizer, was elected to the Oregon House in 2014 and is retiring from office. (Bill Post photo)

It has been an honor and a privilege to serve Oregon and especially what was House District 25 (Keizer, St. Paul and Newberg) for these last six years.

In 2013, I was in the fifth year of my conservative talk radio show in Keizer and had the state representative for Keizer at that time, Kim Thatcher, on as a regular guest. “Thursdays with Thatcher” was a segment we did each week.

One week, she made the announcement that she was going to run for the state Senate after Senator Larry George announced that he was retiring. She challenged me live on the air to consider running for her seat. She relayed to the listeners that I had been calling them out for things for all these years and that I should “put my money where my mouth is.”

It was quite a wakeup call because I realized she was right. It’s easy to be a backseat quarterback. I had for years preached on my show that elected officials should have term limits but I differed from most Republicans in that I didn’t and don’t believe in forced term limits.

I prefer a self-imposed term limit. For my wife and I, we had two terms in our minds. When it came time for a decision on a third term, it was an easy one to make as I really felt that I was making a difference and had “learned the ropes.”

So I ran for a third term with the conviction that it would be my last. Finally, in 2020, I had decided not to run again for a fourth term. I felt that three was enough. I was approached by supporters, businesses, colleagues in the House and others asking me, some begging me, to run again. I really didn’t want to.

I felt I had done all that I could do and it was time for “next man/woman up” just as the writers of our Oregon Constitution intended. Oregon has a unique “citizen’s legislature” and I strongly believe the writers thought that was crucial – that ALL Oregonians should serve at some point.

I was convinced to do one more term and now looking back, I am glad that I did as it was the most successful legislative session I have had. I passed 10 bills (two vetoed by Governor Brown unfortunately) and was able to obtain millions of dollars for my district. My most cherished piece of legislation was finally passing the behind-the-counter sales of pseudoephedrine in Oregon, without a prescription. That will take effect Jan. 1, 2022.

I’ve worked on that since my first term. So, all of this to say, I have done my service, I think I did as good a job at it as I could being in the minority and super minority in the House for my entire time in office.

More recently, my wife received a job offer in Nevada this summer and accepted it long after my decision not to run for office again.

I moved her there in late September and have joined her there but intend to be in district at least once a month for the rest of 2021. I didn’t publicly announce I was not running again until the day that folks could start filing in early September. I felt that that was the best time to let people know I had no intention to run again so that potential candidates for my seat would have a chance to get ready to run.

It’s time to hang it up and let someone else have the honor and privilege of serving Oregon in the Oregon House.

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Bill Post

Bill Post has been a radio announcer and talk show host since 1979. He was elected to the Oregon House as a Republican in 2014, representing the Keizer area.

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