Counties to Appoint Olsen Replacement on Monday

Commissioners for Clackamas and Marion counties will convene virtually at 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1, to appoint one of three candidates to fill the remaining term of Sen. Alan Olsen, who resigned unexpectedly earlier this month.

Olsen, who was first elected in 2011, cited family reasons as his motivation for stepping down and plans to move out of state. His district, Senate District 20, includes Canby, Aurora, Barlow, Charbonneau, Mulino, Oregon City, Estacada, Eagle Creek, Boring and Redland.

Last weekend, local Republican officials chose three candidates from a field of 11 to replace him: Bill Kennemer, a former state senator, representative and county commissioner from Canby; longtime Republican Party leader and businessman John Lee, from Boring; and community and business leader Steve Bates, who’s also from Boring.

Clackamas County officials said the two boards of commissioners will meet jointly because parts of the district fall in both counties. Though Senate District 20 overwhelmingly falls within Clackamas County, a small pocket extends into Marion.

Oregon law requires that a legislative vacancy be filled by county commissioners representing the district in which the vacancy exists. Law also requires that the candidates be selected by local representatives of the former officeholder’s party — in this case, the Republicans.

The session will be virtual only, but residents are welcome to view the proceedings as well as provide comments of up to one minute. More information is available on the county’s website.

The meeting will also be broadcast live on the county’s YouTube channel and Clackamas County Government Channel.

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