Latest: Senator Metsger will not run again. Key open seat.

Press Release from State Senator Rick Metzger (D-Welches)

(Welches) OR: Senator Rick Metsger, President Pro Tempore of the Oregon Senate, today announced he will not be a candidate for re-election to the Oregon Senate next year. Metsger is currently completing his 11th year in the Senate after being first elected in 1998 to the seat then held by Sen. Ken Baker, R-Clackamas. He won re-election in 2002 and 2006. Metsger said he has been considering the move for some time but wanted to be sure one of his major accomplishments-a robust transportation package- would become law before stepping aside. Metsger was a chief architect of HB2001, the largest transportation and jobs investment legislation ever passed by the legislature. Metsger helped push the bill through the legislature as Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. In every legislative session since 2003, Metsger has advanced bi-partisan transportation investments.

“I believe this legislation will not only create jobs for thousands of Oregonians but will build the infrastructure necessary for businesses to grow and expand in Oregon,” Metsger said.

Metsger was honored this month by the Oregon Building Trades Council as “Oregon’s Chief Job Builder” in the Oregon legislature.

Last year he was named “Legislator of the Year” by The Oregon Nurses Association for his long history of championing nursing issues. In 2008 Metsger was inducted into the NW Steelheaders “Hall of Fame” for his career-long advocacy of habitat protection. He joined Tom McCall, John Kitzhaber and Bill Bradbury as other elected officials to receive the organization’s highest honor.

As Chair of the Business and Transportation Committees in the Oregon Senate, Metsger has championed ratepayer protections for utility customers with landmark legislation in 2005 with the passage of SB 408. In 1999 he pushed through legislation that created the Energy Trust of Oregon (SB1149) and this session brought a higher degree of transparency into the Trust’s funding decision-making process. Metsger also engineered the passage of legislation this year to jump-start Oregon’s solar energy industry and played a pivotal role in climate change legislation as his committee pushed passage of SB 101 and HB 2186.

Metsger says he is especially proud of passing “nearly the entire agenda I outlined in my bid for Oregon Secretary of State in 2006.” During the campaign Metsger pledged to overturn HB 2614 of 2005 that all but eliminated the ability of Independent, Non-Affiliated candidates to participate in the electoral process. He sought to bring much-needed reform to the state’s initiative process. Additionally, Metsger pledged to engage the Secretary of State more closely with the Department of Education by placing the SOS on the State Board Of Education and bring civics to life by developing a history center at the State Capitol. Metsger successfully passed his objectives into law, including two of them on the final day of the 2009 session.

“I feel like it is time to take on new challenges,” Metsger said. “I am honored to have been elected by the great citizens of the Mt. Hood area and have worked hard to be an effective voice for them in Salem. I am grateful for their trust and support during my tenure in the Oregon Senate.”

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to LinkedIn Post to Reddit

Posted by at 10:44 | Posted in Measure 37 | 8 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Scott Jorgensen

    Rick Metsger is a class act. I’ve grown to know him over the past five years, and have the utmost respect for him. Good luck, Rick, in all you do from here on out.

  • Heaven forbid more of the sos…

    If Oregon is to elect yet another Democrat governor, may Rick Metzger be the one.
    He’d certainly be better for our state-of-affairs than predecessors, Goldschmidt, Roberts, Kitzhaber and Kulongoski. D’oh!

  • Anonymous

    Patti Smith!!!!!!!!!

  • Bob Clark

    If you have to have a democrat hold an office, Rick Metsger isn’t bad. The Energy Trust of Oregon is not a great accomplishment, though. It’s more like a tax on rate payers that goes to fund a rackett that is financially shared in by environmental groups, developers, and get-rich-scam artist companies and organizations. Many of their power projects have a cost in excess of 50 cents per Kwh when the going market price of electricity is only about 5 cents per Kwh. On top of this, even solar manufacturing companies are locating in places with lower energy costs, like in Idaho where the retail rate for electricity is like 4 to 5 cents per Kwh (a combination of cheap hydro electricity and coal power). The latest Northwest Power Conservation Council plan highlights the exorbinate cost of solar, wind and other Energy Trust-sponsored renewable projects.

  • Anonymous

    “If you have to have a democrat hold an office”

    But… you DON’T.

    He may be the best of their bunch, but he is still wrong on many issues and is more often that not a party-line vote on far left liberal issues.

    I would much rather have a RINO like Gordon Smith, who may also have been wrong on many issues, but was more often than not a party-line vote on conservative issues.

    Also, I would much rather have a RINO because a nominal R is one person closer to majority, and majority means the GOP can choose Senate leadership and set the agenda as a party.

    There is a lesson to be learned here: the far left was ALWAYS happy to have Metsger in the party, because he was a number. They tolerated him being outspoken on some issues and occasionally being a vote against far left policies, because, for the most part, he added to their majority.

    We need to learn to do the same with our RINOs.

    Try to elect conservatives in the primaries? YES.

    Try to nudge RINOs towards a more conservative agenda? YES.

    But flush them out of the party? NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!

  • Bill Sizemore

    Usually when an announcement like this is made there is some suggestion or hint of what the person intends to do next. Take a job in the private sector? Retire to a life of fishing or sking or traveling? Make money as a lobbyist?

    The fact that the senator did not make such a statement or even offer a hint makes me wonder what he is planning. A run for governor? Given the names Democrats have put forth thus far, Metzger would certainly give the sane voters in that D camp someone to vote for, an option they do not currently have.

    Don’t take that as an endorsement, a nod Rick Metzger would hardly covet. I am not a fan. But I do recognize Metzger as more of a moderate Democrat than most of his peers. Unfortunately, that may be the kiss of death in a party entirely within the grasp and control of the public employee unions.

  • Voter

    That is a fairly conservative area, I think the GOP may be able o pick up a seat there next year.

  • Rick Hickey

    Mr. Metsger did help get the Real ID Drivers’ License Bill through, so that Illegal Aliens/Terrorists could no longer get photo ID in Oregon.

    As reported today on Fox News, The teenager from Jordan who was plotting to BOMB/KILL us, is an Illegal Alien who was arrested in Co. because he had NO License or insurance. Hello?

    Real ID does work.

    Thank you Rick Metsger!

    ps, Drudge reports today that the Obama administration is REDUCING our US/Mexico Border Patrol agents this year and only 700 of 2,000 miles of Border there are under “operational control”. This is after also reporting that Iranian & Chinese nationals as well as over 500 Aliens from “countries of special interest” were caught trying to sneak in from Mexico. Do you think they crossed an Ocean, at great expense, to pick Berries!? Do you think the Drug/People smugglers in Mexico care where you are from as long as you pay cash? The next Terrorist attack will again be via Illegal Aliens (as was the 9-11-01 attacks), this time snuck in from Mexico.

Stay Tuned...

Stay up to date with the latest political news and commentary from Oregon Catalyst through daily email updates:

Prefer another subscription option? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, become a fan on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Twitter Facebook

No Thanks (close this box)