Polk County resident Danny Jaffer has announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the Oregon House of Representatives in District 23.
The district includes much of rural Benton County as well as sections of Polk, Marion and Yamhill counties. Republican Mike Nearman, an Independence software engineer, holds the seat. He is in his second term.
Jaffer, 56, grew up in Monmouth, graduated from Oregon State University and was a Navy pilot for 20 years. He serves as board president of the Luckiamute Domestic Water Cooperative.
“House District 23 needs a representative who will stand up for rural Oregon values and provide serious leadership in the Legislature,” Jaffer said. “For too long, Salem has been allowed to forget our interests, especially the interests of our farmers and our wine industry. Come November, all that will change.”
Nearman was first elected in 2014 after ousting incumbent Jim Thompson in the GOP primary. Nearman then defeated Democrat Wanda Davis 52.8 percent to 36.1 percent in the general election. Nearman defeated Thompson, running as an independent, by a 52.9 percent to 37.2 percent margin in the 2016 general election. No Democrat filed papers for the 2016 race.
The district does not include the main Benton County population centers of Corvallis, North Albany and Philomath. Key cities in the district are Adair Village, Alsea, Amity, Dallas, Dayton, Jefferson, Monroe, Rickreall, Willamina and parts of McMinnville.
The primary is set for May 15.