A welcome sign in the Senate at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023. (Amanda Loman/Oregon Capital Chronicle)
State Rep. Christine Goodwin will run for the Senate, setting up a southern Oregon GOP primary with either current Sen. Art Robinson or the son he picked as his successor should the Supreme Court uphold Robinson’s disqualification.
Goodwin, who didn’t return a call Wednesday about her candidacy, has served in the state House since 2021. She said in a statement she was running to ensure southern Oregon has experienced, conservative leaders pushing back against Portland Democrats at the Capitol.
“The more our values were attacked and ignored in Salem, the more my constituents asked me to speak for them,” she said. “I will be that energetic voice in the Senate refusing to give up pushing for real solutions for our failing schools, out-of-control homelessness, rampant drug crisis and the surge in crime it brings with it. Now is a time for leadership in the State Senate, and I am up for the challenge.”
Goodwin, a former teacher and Douglas County commissioner, was appointed in August 2021 to replace former state Rep. Gary Leif, a Roseburg Republican who died in office. At the time, she said she didn’t plan to run for a full term in 2022. She ran unopposed in 2022 in the 4th House District, which spans Interstate 5 south of Roseburg and includes part of the Rogue River Valley.
The Senate district stretches south to the California border and includes the cities of Grants Pass and Cave Junction. Robinson has represented it since 2021, when he switched to running for state Senate after losing five straight congressional elections to longtime Democratic U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio.
State election officials rejected Robinson’s attempt to file for reelection after he participated in a Republican walkout that prevented the Senate from meeting for six weeks. Voters in 2022 approved an amendment to the state constitution to bar any lawmaker with 10 or more unexcused absences from serving another term, and Robinson is one of 10 senators who would be barred under that law. Several senators are suing to block it, with a hearing before the Supreme Court in December.
Noah Robinson, a self-employed chemist, filed to run in his father’s stead. Reached by phone Wednesday, Noah Robinson said he was unfazed by Goodwin entering the primary and confirmed he’s only in the race as long as his father can’t run.
“I expect him to run if the courts sort this thing out,” he said.
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