Sara Magenheimer, vice chair of the Canby School Board, announced her intentions Friday to seek appointment to the state Senate seat being vacated by Alan Olsen, Republican from Canby.
Magenheimer is the first area conservative to publicly announce their interest in replacing Olsen, who served two and a half terms in the Senate before his abrupt resignation earlier this week.
“There is a need in this Legislature for people who understand the real dynamics of how school districts operate, and how to make meaningful changes that would benefit students and parents,” Magenheimer said in a press release. “As a mother of four children, I want to make sure we not only educate students, but also prepare them to succeed after graduation.”
Magenheimer is a lifelong county resident who was born in Oregon City and graduated from Canby High School. She earned a degree in agricultural business management from Oregon State University, where she also served as a student ambassador for the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources.
She went on to a long career with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, serving as congressional liaison, public affairs director and partnership liaison. It was in this role that she said worked with a variety of organizations as well as local farmers and ranchers, learning to appreciate the state’s rich natural resources and those whose livelihoods depend on them.
In the release, Magenheimer said she is also committed to “improving the situation for struggling small businesses.”
“I look forward to talking with as many people in the district as possible over these next weeks and I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve the communities that make this county and this region such a wonderful place to live,” said Magenheimer.
The appointment process involves an initial nomination by elected Precinct Committee People for the Clackamas County Republican Party who also live in Senate District 20.
The PCPs will select three candidates to be presented to the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners, which now has a conservative majority and must make an appointment within 30 days of Olsen’s resignation.
If she is appointed to the position, Magenheimer told The Canby Current she intends to keep her current seat on the Canby School Board, and run for reelection later this year when her term expires.
“I looked into that, and I can do both and I would plan to do both,” she said. “That position is important to me and to our community, and I want to be able to keep doing that. I feel really invested in some of the projects I have been involved in and would like to see them through.”