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A new legislator with a big district takes the oath

Daniel Bonham, a Republican from The Dalles, has been appointed to fill the House seat vacated by John Huffman.

Rep. Daniel BonhamSecretary of State Dennis Richardson swore in Daniel Bonham this week as the new state representative for House District 59. Bonham, of The Dalles, fills the seat vacated by John Huffman, who resigned to become director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development for Oregon.

Huffman is a Republican so by law his appointed successor also is a Republican.

Bonham will represent a massive district. Whereas some urban Oregon districts consist of a few neighborhoods, District 59 includes Culver, Fossil, Madras, Maupin, Metolius, Mitchell, Mosier, Sisters, The Dalles and unincorporated portions of Wasco, Jefferson, Deschutes and Wheeler counties. We would wager that a good many of Bonham's fellow legislators have not been to all those towns.

Another new legislator also will be sworn in soon. The Multnomah, Clackamas and Hood River county commissioners unanimously appointed Jeff Helfrich of Hood River to complete the term of Hood River Rep. Mark Johnson, who resigned to become president and CEO of Oregon Business & Industry.