ORSEN: Larry George is out. Does it matter?

Carla Axtman

Looks like one of the hardest of the hardcore conservative stalwarts in the Oregon Senate is calling it quits.

Christian Gaston, The Oregonian:

State Sen. Larry George, R-Sherwood, a key negotiator during the Oregon Legislature’s special session this fall, won’t seek re-election in 2014.

George and Sen. Brian Boquist, R-Dallas, were the chief architects of a business tax cut that was part of a legislative package, dubbed the "grand bargain," passed by lawmakers in October during a three-day special session.

George served as deputy caucus leader during the 2013 session and has played a significant role in guiding Republican candidates to victory during previous elections. In the release, George said shifting the balance of power in the Senate from the 19-11 majority Democrats held when he was elected to the slim majority they hold today has boosted bipartisanship.

“I worked hard during recent elections to move the Oregon Senate to a more balanced 16 Democrats and 14 Republicans - this forced much more bipartisan cooperation and ultimately led to successes for Oregonians," George said.

I suspect this would be a pretty tough pickup opportunity for the Democrats. George is from one of the more conservative areas of Washington County and represents some very conservative pockets of Yamhill County as well.

George's departure opens the door for State Rep. Kim Thatcher, who like George, is aligned with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC is a right-wing conservative bill mill that marries state legislators with corporate interests. Given the practically nonexistent blowback for George on this issue, it's difficult to see how it's going to be a problem for Thatcher.

Thatcher's attempt to head to the upper chamber has sent right wing talk radio host Bill Post in search of her seat, which he announced on his radio show Facebook page:

Bill Post wants to be a state represenative

It'll be interesting to see if the GOP House Republicans back Post, or if they'll go in search of someone else. Also, I'm not sure how long Post can keep his radio show if he's a candidate. He may have to walk away from it or face having to give equal time to his opponents.

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