April 18, 2018 5:00 a.m.
The seat formerly occupied by Dallas Heard in the Oregon House has been declared vacant.
A release issued Tuesday afternoon by the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office made the declaration. Heard was sworn into the Oregon Senate on Tuesday, taking the seat formerly held by Jeff Kruse, who resigned in March.
A letter sent to Oregon Republican Party Chair Bill Currier outlines the process that is now underway. Just like the process that led to Heard being selected to fill the senate seat for the rest of the year, there are two main steps. First GOP precinct committee persons are required to nominate between three and five Republicans willing to accept the appointment. That must take place in time for the Secretary of State’s Office to be notified, no later than May 7th. Then commissioners in Douglas, Jackson and Josephine counties must select one of those people.
Since House District Two is mainly in Douglas County, but encompasses small portions of the other two counties, a formula allots the number of votes each commissioner receives, based on how many people from each county live in the district. Douglas County Commissioners will each get 12.66 votes, while Josephine County Commissioners get 1.33 votes and commissioners in Jackson County are allowed .33 of one vote.
The person selected will fill the seat for the rest of 2018. A few weeks ago, Douglas County Commissioner Gary Leif filed for the Republican nomination for the seat while Megan Salter filed for the Democratic nomination. The person picked by voters in the 2018 General Election will take the House seat starting in 2019.