The Republicans of The Fightin’ 59th District of the Oregon House have picked three men for a slate of candidates to fill a vacancy. Former Representative John Dallum resigned last month to take a school job in the Big Sky state.
Veteran lobby group CFM reports through their Insider newsletter:
The candidates are John Huffman, a former broadcaster, and M.D. “Van” Van Valkenburgh, a former Wasco County assistant district attorney, both from The Dalles, and Mick Goss, a financial consultant from Madras.
The Boundary has little familiarity with any of these names, but M.D. Van Valkenburgh (at right) is also known as Meredith Van Valkenburgh of The Dalles. If selected to serve, it could prove very difficult for Oregonians to say the phrase ‘Representative Van Valkenburgh’–it’s quite a mouthful. But, thanks to Oregon office vacancy law, that decision is now up to the Boards of Commissioners from the following counties:
Wow. That’s a lot of counties and commissioners. District 59 is geographically huge, incorporating the cities of John Day, The Dalles, Madras, Arlington, and many more, so it’s probably hard to argue that there’s an ‘essence’ or a ‘core’ to the district. In fact, given its odd, twisty shape it’s a wonder it withstood the compactness test during the review of redistricting.
Nevertheless, according to The Dalles Chronicle, these Commissioners from seven different counties will have to convene on Monday and pick their favorite. Note: for the faint-hearted, watch out; it’s about to get wonky in here.
Each commissioner gets a certain number of votes based on a simple formula. Each county tallies the number of its residents that live in the district based on the newest information available. For every 1,000 residents or major fraction of 1k (greater than one-half or 500 residents), a county will be assigned one vote. Each county with at least one resident in the district, however, must be assigned at least one vote. The total number of votes assigned to the county is divided by the number of commissioners. Each commissioner can apportion the whole number of her or his votes to her or his preferred candidate.
And the nominee with the most votes gets the job. (End wonk storm).
So keep your eye on The Dalles Chronicle for news of Oregon’s newest Representative. If you don’t, you know that the Boundary will.