Oregon Rep. Bill Post has sold his house in Keizer and moved to Nevada with over 15 months remaining in his term in office. Post, a Republican that represents District 25, will continue to serve for the remainder of this year but is considering resigning from office for the last year of his term.
Post made the announcement to his 20,000 followers on Facebook on Sept. 27, writing that he and his wife Colleen had moved to Nevada the weekend prior.
“Well most of ours friends know so now it’s public. Colleen accepted a job in Fallon, Nevada and we moved last weekend. She starts this week,” Post wrote on Facebook. “We sold our Keizer home and bought one here. We love it here.”
Post announced in September that he would not be seeking re-election in 2022, but some Facebook commenters questioned what Post’s move meant for his current term, which isn’t set to officially expire until January 2023.
According to Post, who has represented District 25 since 2014, Oregon legislators must live in the district they represent for a minimum of 183 days a year, which Post has already achieved for 2021.
The Secretary of State’s Office was unable to confirm the residency requirement, saying their “habitation” requirement relates to the day of election and “no requirement of continued residence in the district is found.”
As for 2022, the last year of Post’s term, no decision has been made.
“Right now I’m going to continue and I’ll be returning at least once a month,” Post said in an interview with the Keizertimes. “I’ll make a decision between now and the first of January about what I plan on doing for next year.”
With the Oregon Legislature scheduled to meet virtually for the rest of the year, Post said he believes he can continue to effectively serve even if he isn’t living in the district. Post added that since the beginning of the pandemic his primary form of contact with constituents has been email or phone, which he will continue to do.
“Does it really matter if you live in the district or not if there’s nothing to do in the district?” Post said.
Ramiro Navarro, Post’s Democratic opponent in the 2020 District 25 race, said he believes Post can’t effectively represent the district from another state and that he should resign.
“Even though I campaigned against him and he was my opponent, he’s still our elected official so I think we should at least try to support him in that role,” said Navarro. “For him to completely abandon us and leave to another state was just really disappointing.”
If Post does elect to resign before the end of his term, district Republicans would be tasked with nominating between three to five Republican candidates to fill his role.
The board of commissioners in both Yamhill and Marion counties, both partially represented by state District 25, would then interview the candidates and vote to appoint Post’s replacement. A replacement would need to be selected within 30 days of the vacancy.
The Sept. 27 Facebook announcement came on the same day that Oregon lawmakers met to vote on new redistricting maps. Post was not present for the in-person special session, having an excused absence for the day.
The finalized redistricting maps put Keizer, where Post has lived off and on since 1976, in a district that’s predicted to be less conservative than in the past.
Keizer will move from District 25, which also covered St. Paul and Newberg, to District 21, which will now cover Keizer and part of Salem. Post has said that his decisions to not seek re-election and to move to Nevada were made a while ago and were not because of the redistricting.
“ I think (redistricting) absolutely influenced his decision. I know in the comments he made this was something that was a long time coming,” Navarro said. “But I just feel like it was timely that he waited until the end. It felt like he was just waiting to see how it all panned out.”
News tip? Contact reporter Joey Cappelletti at [email protected] or 616-610-3093.