SALEM, Ore. – Republicans in the Oregon House will be in the minority after this week’s election. A historic 30-30 split in the chamber has ended with Democratic wins Tuesday night in key districts. But Republicans say they hope the recent bipartisanship will carry over into the next legislative session.
For Republicans, it's a familiar position. The GOP hasn't controlled either chamber of the Oregon legislature since 2005. They got a piece of the power pie when the Oregon House was split down the middle in the 2011 session. That gave Republican leader Bruce Hanna a share of the gavel along with Democrat Arnie Roblan.
Now, Hanna will have to step away from the dais. But he says he hopes the spirit of that 30-30 split lives on.
"I hope that the lessons all of us learned around bipartisanship, around humility, around being inclusive of everyone in terms of governance, that there's an opportunity for those things to still prevail."
Hanna’s co-speaker, Arnie Roblan, meanwhile, won a seat in the Oregon Senate. That means that Democrat Tina Kotek will likely be the new Speaker of the Oregon House when the legislature convenes in January. If that happens, she would appear to be the first lesbian in the nation to lead a legislative chamber.
Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network
Republican Bruce Hanna had a shar of the gavel but Democrat Tina Kotek will likely take over as Oregon House speaker. Photos via Oregon Legislature