Kim Thatcher — Dist. 13


Representative Kim Thatcher
State Sen. Kim Thatcher Photo courtesy of the Oregon Legislature

Upset over his vote in support of Measure 30, at the time the largest tax increase in state history, Republican voters rejected Rep. Vic Backlund's 2004 bid for re-election and nominated an unknown businesswoman and self-described activist. Kim Thatcher went on to easily win election to what many say is a safe Republican seat. Rep. Kim Thatcher has proven herself to be as perfect a match to the district as can be found in Oregon. Apparently this perception prompted the Democrats to put up only token opposition in 2006 and 2010; in 2008 they failed to recruit any candidate. In a somewhat bizarre twist, in 2012, Democrat party leaders, following the election of a candidate in the primary, ditched that candidate in favor of the opponent. Rep. Thatcher easily won re-election.

Her impact on the Legislature was immediate, gaining appointments to both the House Elections Rules and Ethics and Judiciary committees as a freshman in 2005. In 2007 she sat on the House Government Accountability and Information Technology Committee which led to the work for which she is best known — spearheading the development and launch of the Oregon Transparency in Government web site. She is a tireless advocate for reducing the size and scope of government.

In 2014, upon the retirement of Sen. Larry George, she immediately threw her hat into the ring. She comfortably defeated Newberg city councillor Ryan Howard 58.5%-41%, winning all four counties of the district.

For the 78th Legislative Session, Sen. Thatcher will join fellow Marion County Republican Rep. Mike Nearman on the Joint Committee on Ways and Means Sub-Committee on Information Technology, sit on the Senate Committee on Workforce as Vice-Chair, and join the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

Unlike her Marion County Republican colleagues, Rep. Bill Kennemer and Sen. Alan Olsen, only one of her committee assignments carries over from last session:  the Senate Committee on Judiciary, on which she promotes to Vice-Chair. Otherwise, she moves to three new committees:  Senate Committee on General Government & Accountability; Joint Committee on Legislative Audits; and Joint Committee on Legislative Policy and Research, joining Marion County Republican Sen. Brian Boquist. All three of these new assignments go to the strength of her passion of increasing transparency with the goal limiting government.

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