Last month, I had the opportunity to interview former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at a post-election forum sponsored by the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation.
As fate had it, Speaker Gingrich had been with President Donald Trump at a White House election-night watch party. He reported the president was ebullient as the results came in from Senate races in so-called red states. If President Trump thought it was a good night for his party, he wasn’t paying much attention to Oregon.
As I wrote this month in my election analysis on page 4, the Democrats solidified their hold on urban and suburban Oregon in western Oregon while the Republicans continue to hold every legislative district east of the Cascade Mountains. Democratic Gov. Kate Brown also won a decisive victory despite a spirted campaign from State Representative Knute Buehler. The Democrats had a good night, and now have strong majorities to try and pass their legislative priorities. We congratulate all candidates who had the courage to step into the political arena.
Electric cooperative leaders will continue to work with both parties in the upcoming Oregon legislative session to make sure they are aware of our priorities: protecting the amazing federal hydro system that helped build the Northwest economy and enables us to be one of the lowest carbon-emitting states in the country; maintaining local control of electric cooperative governance; and understanding the unique challenge of serving rural farmers and ranchers who help feed urban Oregon but in doing so, often live at the far end of a dusty road. We hope these are ideas that both red and blue Oregonians can rally behind.