Salem City Councilor Chris Hoy wins state House appointment

Hoy, a Democrat, will be sworn in ahead of Monday’s special session on eviction protections

By: - December 8, 2021 5:08 pm

Cautious investments and long-term policies aimed at reducing Oregonians’ dependence on cars could help the state weather economic uncertainty. (Amanda Loman/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

Chris Hoy, a Salem city councilor, on Wednesday won an appointment to the state House to finish the term of Democratic Rep. Brian Clem, who resigned in November to care for his mother, who has Alzheimer’s disease. 

Hoy, a retired law enforcement officer, won a special election to the city council in 2017. He told Marion County commissioners that he knows the issues facing Salem and the state, and his constituents know him – his downtown city council ward is almost completely within the boundaries of House District 21, which also includes unincorporated areas surrounding Salem. 

That experience makes him uniquely suited to step in as the Legislature prepares to go into special session next Monday and a short session in February, Hoy said. 

“There is no time for a learning curve for whoever you appoint to this seat,” he said. “They must hit the ground running.”

Hoy will retain his city council seat as he finishes Clem’s term.

Commissioners also considered appointing Salem City Councilor Virginia Stapleton, midwife Nancy MacMorris-Adix and retired attorney Kasia Quillinan. All four are Salem Democrats. 

Commissioner Danielle Bethell supported MacMorris-Adix, but ultimately voted for Hoy after Commissioners Colm Willis and Kevin Cameron said they supported him.

Cameron said the appointment process was hard for him because he had a long and positive relationship with Clem. 

“From the bottom of my heart, I really appreciate the service that we have had and the friendship I had with Representative Brian Clem,” he said. “Whoever serves in his place in the next year will have an opportunity to try to fill that void.” 

Hoy told commissioners he won’t run for election in 2022, as he won’t live in the redrawn version of the district. Legislative redistricting earlier this fall split the district in several pieces, with most of downtown Salem included in a district with the southeast part of the city and other areas combined with Keizer. 

Rep. Raquel Moore-Green, R-Salem, lives in the new House district that combines downtown and southeast Salem. She plans to run for the state Senate. Republican Bill Post resigned from a state House seat in Keizer late last month, more than two months after he moved to Nevada. 

Republicans in Yamhill and Marion counties are scheduled to meet Thursday night to nominate candidates to replace Post, and county commissioners will meet Friday morning to make the final choice.

A spokeswoman for House Democrats said the House plans to swear in both new representatives ahead of Monday’s special session.

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Julia Shumway
Julia Shumway

Julia Shumway has reported on government and politics in Iowa and Nebraska, spent time at the Bend Bulletin and most recently was a legislative reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times in Phoenix. An award-winning journalist, Julia most recently reported on the tangled efforts to audit the presidential results in Arizona.