If you have a news tip send us an email at: tips@oregoncapitalinsider.com


McLane won't lead House Republicans

Republicans will almost certainly face an uphill battle when the session convenes in January, and as of right now it's not apparent who will be leading them in either chamber.

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP - Rep. Mike McLaneHouse Republican Leader Mike McLane, who has led the caucus since 2012, won't seek the post again, Oregon Capital Insider has learned.

"A new leadership team will be selected during the next caucus meeting, a date for which has not yet been finalized," a spokesman for the House Republicans, Preston Mann, said in an email.

McLane was on vacation Thursday and not available for an interview.

Mann said that the Central Oregon lawmaker is also partner in a law firm, a father of three and serves in the Oregon Air National Guard.

'Tis the season for caucus elections, when each party in each chamber chooses their leaders.

Republicans will almost certainly face an uphill battle when the session convenes in January, and as of right now it's not apparent who will be leading them in either chamber.

Democrats will hold supermajorities, which may make it easier for them to pass controversial bills that don't have bipartisan support.

It's also not certain that Sen. Jackie Winters, R-Salem, will remain at the helm of Republicans in the Senate.

"I think that's an ongoing discussion too, but it's not just up to her, it's up to the whole caucus," said Tayleranne Gillespie, a spokeswoman for the Senate Republican caucus.

The next time the whole Senate Republican caucus will gather is during Legislative Days in December, Gillespie said.

And it's not clear how many may be in their group. It could be 12 or 11, depending on the outcome of a race in the Hood River area.

She said elections officials are still counting ballots in a very close race between incumbent Sen. Chuck Thomsen, R-Hood River, and Democratic challenger Chrissy Reitz.

That needs to get sorted out before the caucus makes leadership decisions, Gillespie said.

Senate Democrats are expected to select their leaders Friday Nov. 16, an event that may be contentious, Willamette Week has reported. Some Democrats may challenge the leadership of Salem's Peter Courtney, the longtime Senate President.

House Democrats, the largest caucus in the Legislature, have already elected their leaders. Tina Kotek, of Portland, will remain Speaker of the House.

Got a tip, comment or grievance? Email tips@oregoncapitalinsider.com