In Short

Clackamas County Rep. Mark Meek announces run for Oregon Senate

By: - October 15, 2021 6:45 am

State Rep. Mark Meek on the House floor in 2019. Provided by Meek campaign

State Rep. Mark Meek plans to run for the state Senate in a newly-created district,  he announced this week.

Meek’s Gladstone home has been in a Republican Senate district represented by former state Sen. Alan Olsen or his appointed successor, state Sen. Bill Kennemer, for the past decade. New legislative boundaries give Democrats an advantage in the area.

Meek, a Democrat, is in his third term in the House where he’s the vice chair of the chamber’s committee on veterans and emergency management and also serves on the housing committee. He’s an Air Force veteran and real estate agent.

This year, Meek sponsored legislation banning real estate agents from accepting  so-called “love letters” from would-be buyers. In hot housing markets like Portland, heartfelt letters sometimes give buyers a leg up over those offering more money, but they can also make it harder for people of color to buy homes, especially in predominantly white neighborhoods. 

Kennemer, R-Oregon City, told Willamette Week he’ll run again in the Senate district he shares with Meek despite the new Democratic voter registration advantage. Provided the new legislative boundaries stick – opponents have until Oct. 25 to sue over the new maps, and no one has done so yet – the district will lose Canby and a large rural area. 

Candidates cannot officially file for the state House or Senate until next January, or after lawsuits conclude.

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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.