Sen. Daniel Bonham new GOP Senate leader

Senator Tim Knopp Welcomes Senator Daniel Bonham as New Senate Republican Leader

 By State Senator Tim Knopp,

SALEM, Ore. Today, Senate Republicans announced a change in leadership. Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend) will step down as Senate Republican Leader. Senator Daniel Bonham (R-The Dalles) was elected to lead the Caucus. This change is effective April 15th. The news comes as Knopp recently completed the final legislative session in his third term in the Oregon Senate.

“I want to thank Senator Bonham for stepping up to lead the Senate Republican Caucus,” said Leader Knopp.

“When I was elected Senate Republican Leader in 2021, I said that Senate Republicans had a great opportunity to showcase our ideas and vision. This contrasted with decades of failed Democrat policy in Oregon. Two years later, I’m proud to say we did just that. In 2022, voters ended the Democrat Supermajority. Our caucus came together and stood our ground during the 2023 Session which resulted in a historically bipartisan 2024 Session. This proved what I’ve said the from the beginning: that coming together to produce good policy for the betterment of Oregonians – instead of one side driving an uncompromising, partisan agenda – is the best way to approach policymaking,” Knopp concluded.

“If not for Ballot Measure 113, Senate Republicans would not be making this change. Senator Knopp has been a popular and well-respected leader within our Caucus. His political instincts and leadership have been an asset we will continue to utilize as he stays actively involved throughout this next election cycle. There is significant work to be done to prepare for the ‘24 election and the ‘25 legislative session. I’m eager to get to work,” said Leader-Elect Bonham.

“I want to thank Leader Knopp for his years of service and stellar leadership to our Caucus, his district, and the State of Oregon,” said Senator David Brock Smith (R-Port Orford). “With this transition of leadership, we continue to be unified for Oregonians. I am grateful to have earned the trust of my Republican colleagues who unanimously voted for me to serve them and our new Senate Republican Leader Daniel Bonham as Deputy Leader.”

Current and former Republican lawmakers share their thoughts Senator Knopp’s historic career:

“The legislative and political legacy of Senator Tim Knopp is undisputed,” said Representative Vikki Breese-Iverson (R-Prineville), past House Republican Leader. “He led a successful House Republican Majority. He secured Oregon’s Kicker in the Constitution, reformed public employee retirements, extended the statute of limitations on rape crimes twice, and fearlessly defended the rule of law. As a colleague, a fellow leader, and a friend, it was an honor and a joy to serve with him. Tim will always be known as someone who left Oregon better than he found it.

Former Congressman Greg Walden said, “Senator Knopp has dedicated nearly two decades fighting for conservative values in Salem. He never dodged a fight, especially when his principles were on the line. Through good times and difficult times, Central Oregonians knew Tim always had their backs. He is a savvy campaigner who knew what the voters in his district wanted and needed. Under his leadership, Republicans actually gained seats in the Senate and broke the super-majority status of Democrats.

“We teamed up on many issues over the years to improve the quality of life in Central Oregon including efforts to improve transportation corridors and reduce the threat of wildfires through better forest management with more local input. Tim is a skilled and effective legislator.

“His departure as leader of the Republicans in the State Senate at this time is another example of how he’s put the good of the group ahead of any personal ambitions. I want to thank him for his service and wish him the very best in the next chapter of his life,” Walden concluded.

Knopp first won election to Oregon House District 54 in November 1998. In his first legislative session, he passed HJR 17 (1999) which was a referral to the voters enshrining the Kicker in the Oregon Constitution. He supported and served on the committee that passed the framework for Oregon’s current charter school law (SB 100, 1999). He served as the Chair of the House Business, Labor, and Consumer Affairs Committee (2001) and served as House Majority Leader.

“I was not surprised when Tim ran for the House and won in 1998. I was surprised how quickly he rose in leadership in both the House and Senate. He will be missed,” said Neil Bryant, former State Senator from District 27 (1993-2001).

After eight years in the nonprofit sector, Tim Knopp returned to the Oregon Legislature, this time in the Senate. In the minority, he was often found crafting bipartisan solutions to grow the economy, protect vulnerable people, and seek justice for victims of crime.

“Tim and I both came to the Senate in 2013. He hit the ground running. He is a principled and pragmatic leader who served our Caucus, our Party, and the people of Oregon well. He was one of the most effective legislators even when Democrats dominated all three branches of government,” said Senator Bill Hansell (R-Athena).

During his time in the Senate, Knopp worked across the aisle on numerous pieces of landmark legislation including:

  • Combatting human trafficking (SB 673, 2013)
  • SILVER ALERT system to find missing seniors (SB 1577, 2014)
  • Erin’s Law (SB 856, 2015)
  • Increasing the statute of limitations for rape from six to twelve years (SB 1600, 2016) and then again from twelve to twenty years (HB 3632, 2023).
  • Equal Pay Act (HB 2005, 2017)
  • Campaign Finance Reform (HB 4024, 2024)
  • Kaylee’s Law (2019)

Senator Knopp was a constant champion for his district. He secured funding to open the Oregon State University-Cascades campus and fought repeated attempts to defund and close the campus. In 2021, with the Central Oregon delegation, he passed an urban growth boundary (UGB) for Bend, and in 2023 won $15 million dollars to remodel the Deschutes County Courthouse.