Republicans rush to fill vacant House District 25 seat

House chamber at the Oregon State Capitol. (Photo courtesy of Bill Post)

Oregon Republicans are rushing to fill a state Legislature seat vacated by Bill Post on Nov. 30 ahead of the Dec. 13 special session called by Gov. Kate Brown last week.

Post has represented House District 25, which includes Keizer, St. Paul and Newberg, since 2014 but resigned after moving to Nevada in October. His term wasn’t set to expire until January of 2023. 

Oregon Republicans are scheduled to nominate candidates on Thursday, Dec. 9 before Marion, Yamhill and Washington county commissioners vote to appoint the next District 25 representative on Friday, Dec. 10. Under the current timeline, the chosen representative will be sworn into office on Monday, Dec. 13. 

“While Republicans technically have 30 days to fill the seat, they don’t want the district unrepresented for 30 days especially with the special session,” Post said in an interview with the Keizertimes on Dec. 3.

Oregon lawmakers are set to meet for a special session on Dec. 13 to discuss eviction protections and the state’s rent assistance program, which has run out of funds. 

According to a spokesperson for the Marion County Republicans, Jessica Davidson, Jessica George, Scott Guptill, and Erin Bryant had all filed for the seat as of Thursday morning.

Republican precinct committee persons in Marion, Yamhill and Washington counties, the three counties represented by House District 25, are set to meet Thursday evening to decide how which candidates to send on to county commissioners for a final vote.

The precinct committee persons are required to nominate between three and five candidates for the county commissioners to vote on. With only four candidates, Post said his guess was that they would nominate three candidates.

The nominating convention will take place at the City of Keizer’s Community Center. The four candidates will introduce themselves and then field questions from the approximately 75 Republican precinct committee persons expected to be in attendance.

The Oregon Republican Party denied the Keizertimes’ request to attend the nominating convention on Thursday.

The final candidates will then be interviewed and voted on during a joint meeting of the county commissioners in Marion, Yamhill and Washington counties on Friday, Dec. 10.

“I made it very public at the last Marion County meeting that I am in support of three candidates and would be thrilled if Jessica George, Jessica Davidson or Scott Guptill were selected,” Post said. 

Davidson is a resident of Keizer and has served on the City of Keizer’s Volunteer Coordinating Committee since 2020. 

The chosen candidate will serve until Post’s term is set to expire in January 2023 — unless they choose to run for the seat in 2022. 

House District 25 will be split up into three different district’s next year due to redistricting that occurred earlier this year. Keizer will move into District 21 along with a larger portion of north and east Salem.

According to multiple Republican sources, Kevin Mannix, a former Republican state representative and Salem-resident, is preparing to run for the District 21 seat in 2021. 

Mannix is one of the more prominent Republican names in Oregon and lost to Ted Kulongoski in the 2002 Oregon governor’s race by three percent. 

News tip? Contact reporter Joey Cappelletti at [email protected] or 616-610-3093.