by Bill Post
I have come to the conclusion that the Oregon Republican Party needs to focus time and effort on building a strong bench.
As we have seen in recent months, ANY legislator’s world could be changed literally overnight. Whether it’s a personal issue, health or perhaps running for a statewide or Federal office, every single legislator should have someone ready to go now! Take for instance Bruce Starr running for Labor Commissioner. When he wins, who’s taking his place? What if Bruce Hanna were to run successfully for governor. Who’s taking his place not only in his seat but in his leadership role?
Who should be on our “bench”? People who are active in their communities. Those who meet with mayors, commissioners, city councils, local leaders and business leaders. Our current legislators should know who these people are and actively recruit them, invite them to the Capitol, take some time to help them.
We have some wonderful folks running for House seats around the state. People like: Dan Mason, Dan Farrington, Manuel Castaneda, John Davis, Kathy LeCompte and others. Some of them may win their races, some may not. What I’d like to see is those who do not win, to stay in “the game” so to speak. We need their leadership, expertise, their fundraising ability, their knowledge. They’ve raised money, they’ve met the leaders in their communities and so much more. We need them to step up and be party leaders. That means county chair, district chair, PCP, all of them in need of new blood, new ideas, fresh faces and who better than these fine candidates?
I don’t want them to just walk away and decide whether to run again in two years or not and then go back to business as usual. Get involved more than they are now. Be ready to step in should something happen to one of the seated State Representatives. Be active in House politics. Be active in the GOP in Oregon. Help those who are in the House after the election. Stay in the game!
I know I have missed some names, these were just on the top of my head. I would like to see a strong bench built for the future of the Oregon GOP. This also means the GOP in Oregon needs to take the time to work with these folks to build their name recognition, to help them see the future affect they can have on Oregon politics. Invest in them. Oregon’s future needs strong leadership and these candidates are the future, win or lose this November.