Sen. Thomsen will run for re-election

Democrat Robert Bruce of Sandy will oppose HR Republican

Rep. Chuck Thomsen and Rep. Mark Johnson speak at the town hall meeting in Cascade Locks on the state PERS system dilemma.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea.
Rep. Chuck Thomsen and Rep. Mark Johnson speak at the town hall meeting in Cascade Locks on the state PERS system dilemma.

Chuck Thomsen announced his plans Wednesday to run for a second term as Dist. 26 State Senator.

“I’m still learning, every day,” Thomsen said of his service in the Oregon Legislature.

Thomsen, a Republican, is a fourth-generation Pine Grove orchard farmer. He was first elected in 2010. He previously served on the Hood River County Board of Commissioners.

“It is a great honor to serve the citizens of our local communities in the Oregon Legislature,” Thomsen said. “There is still a lot of work to do, and I believe I can continue to be an effective voice and advocate for Senate District 26.”

The district boundaries include Hood River County and areas in Clackamas and Multnomah counties around Estacada and Boring, as well as Portland suburbs.

Thomsen said he has earned a bipartisan reputation, effectively working the senators of both parties.

“I look at both sides of the issue, and try to work with people on both sides. It’s just how I do things,” Thomsen said. He is currently a member of the budget-writing Ways and Means Committee, the Emergency Board, the Environment and Natural Resources Subcommittee, and the Senate Business and Transportation policy Committee.

He said he has spent the past four years fighting for increased funding to Oregon classrooms, and pushed for the historic increase in education funding, securing more than $1.1 million for Oregon schools over the next two years.

“I have also found solutions for many specific needs, such as saving key rest stops from closure, shepherding a bill to ease payroll deadline requirements for agriculture producers, and helping steer the final stages of key road infrastructure projects,” he said. “I’m really proud of our work on behalf of individual constituents.

“Some of the most valuable work we do is helping out folks who need assistance navigating a regulation or working with a state agency. I see my role as one of the people citizens can come to in order to find the right person to talk to at a state agency.”


Democrat Robert Bruce of Sandy announced last week he will run against Thomsen in the May 2014 primary.

Sandy, a consultant with Sandy River Construction Services, said he’s spent years helping construction companies grow and be competitive. He has never run for public office.

“Small businesses continue to struggle and our schools still aren’t getting the funding they need,” Bruce said in a press release. “We can do better and we must do better, and that’s why I’m running for the Oregon Senate.”

In recent years, Bruce has advocated for small businesses as a member of the Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs.

In 2011, Bruce helped lead the effort to pass legislation that would have leveled the playing field for small businesses on architectural and engineering contracts. He continues to advocate for policies that would make it easier for small businesses to provide health care coverage to their employees, such as eliminating the exemption for the insurance industry from Oregon’s anti-fraud laws.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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