SALEM, Ore. – Today, the Oregon Secretary of State announced that she has directed the Oregon Elections Division to implement an administrative rule restricting access for members of the minority to run for office on arbitrary, capricious, and retaliatory unexcused absences assigned to members by Senate President Rob Wagner. The rule states that legislators with 10 or more unexcused absences are barred from appearing on the 2024 ballot. The Senate President has sole authority in determining whether an absence is unexcused and does not need to give any form of explanation.
Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp (R-Bend) released the following statement:
“After repeated unlawful and unconstitutional actions by President Rob Wagner and other Democrat leaders in the 2023 Session, Senate Republicans held them accountable by peacefully pausing the session to gain compliance with Senate Rules, Oregon Law, and the Oregon Constitution. In retaliation, Wagner was quick to impose unexcused absences on members who challenged his failed leadership.
It appears the Democrat Attorney General and the Democrat Secretary of State are willing to cover for the Democrat Senate President Rob Wagner’s decision to ensure Measure 113 quashes the free speech of minority Senate Republicans as it was designed to do by political special interests.
We believe the plain language of Measure 113 allows for members to run again in 2024 elections. We disagree with the Secretary of State’s determination and will challenge it in court.”