Photo courtesy of the Oregon Legislature
Appointed at the start of the 2017 session upon the resignation of the late Rep. Vic Gilliam, Rep. Rick Lewis was re-elected handily to his third term last November. Rep. Lewis, in addition to the most recent three years in the legislature, packs over a decade of local government experience, primarily in law enforcement. He had just been re-elected to his second term as Mayor of Silverton in November 2016. He had unseated Stu Rasmussen in 2014 in his first try at public elective office. He had served the city as its city manager for eight months (2011-12) and its chief of police (2008-2012); he previously served as police chief in Bandon, OR for two years (2006-08).
For the 81st Legislative Assembly, Rep. Lewis will be quite busy and feeling the heat of several pitched skirmishes owing to his committee assignments. His many years as a police chief have earned him a special spot on the House Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Equitable Policing. He also continues in his position on the Judiciary Committee. Both committees will generate heat as they deal with issues stemming from last summer's rioting in Portland. If Speaker Kotek had a brain she would have named Rep. Lewis to chair the House Special Committee on Wildfire Recovery given that his district suffered so greatly from the Riverside and Beechie Creek conflagrations. At least she didn't name some Portland hack, placing Salem Democrat Brian Clem over the committee; as his Vice-Chair, Rep. Lewis will be able to offer strong guidance. Rep. Lewis continues his position as Vice-Chair of the House Committee on Veterans and Emergency Preparedness. Finally, he will sit on a fifth committee, the Joint Committee on Transportation.
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