In Short

Republican Oregon state Rep. Jack Zika won’t seek re-election in newly Democratic district

By: - November 18, 2021 4:10 pm

State Rep. Jack Zika, R-Redmond, said Thursday he won’t seek re-election, citing family illness and personal health reasons. (Zika campaign)

State Rep. Jack Zika, R-Redmond, will retire instead of seeking re-election in a redrawn House district that now favors Democrats.

Zika, a real estate agent elected to the House in 2018, cited a family illness and personal health in a press release announcing his decision. 

“This was a hard decision, but I’m proud of all the work we have done together to bring much-needed resources for central Oregon,” Zika said. “I will forever cherish these memories and relationships, and I hope that anyone who runs for this position loves and appreciates this amazing community as much as I do. I want to thank each and every one of you for all your support, and I will truly miss being your State Representative.”

Bend attorney Emerson Levy, a Democrat who lost to Zika in the 2020 election, announced last month that she would run again. Provided the legislative boundaries redrawn after the 2020 census withstand an ongoing legal challenge, the new House District 53 will contain most of north Bend and southwest Redmond, two quickly-growing areas that trend Democratic. 

During his three years in office, Zika sponsored laws enabling both Bend and Redmond to build affordable housing on land outside their urban growth boundaries and requiring real estate courses to include information on fair housing laws. 

He also helped create a $250 million fund to compensate landlords for unpaid rent during the Covid pandemic and ensured Oregon State University-Cascades received $13.8 million in state bonds this year. 

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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.