Chuck Riley (politician)

Chuck Riley (born May 31, 1939) is an American politician in the state of Oregon. A native of Illinois, he is the Democratic senator from District 15, which includes Hillsboro, Forest Grove, and Cornelius in western Washington County. He served three terms in the Oregon House of Representatives from 2005 to 2011. He is also a former consultant.

Chuck Riley
Member of the Oregon Senate
from the 15th district
Assumed office
January 12, 2015
Preceded byBruce Starr
Member of the Oregon House of Representatives
from the 29th district
In office
January 10, 2005 – January 11, 2011
Preceded byMary Gallegos
Succeeded byKatie Eyre Brewer
Personal details
Born (1939-05-31) May 31, 1939 (age 81)
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Katie Riley
ResidenceHillsboro, Oregon
Alma materUniversity of Illinois
Portland State University
OccupationState Senator

Riley was the Democratic nominee for Senate District 15 in 2010, losing to incumbent state senator Bruce Starr.[1] However, Riley prevailed in a rematch against Starr in 2014, winning in the tightest Oregon legislative election of the year.[2]

Early lifeEdit

Chuck Riley the son of Oscar Edwin Riley and Jessie May (Spangler) Riley was born in 1939 in Illinois where he grew up on his father's farm.[3] In 1957, he graduated from Mount Vernon High School in Mount Vernon before enrolling in college.[4] He took some classes at the University of Illinois, majoring in mathematics, before enlisting in the United States Air Force in 1958.[4][5] Riley remained in the Air Force until 1961 and spent some time at the Army Language School learning Russian.[4] He later attended Southern Illinois University as an art major and worked for the school before moving to California where he worked at the Jet Propulsion Lab and for Santa Barbara County.[3][4][5]

In 1979, he moved to Oregon and settled in Washington County west of Portland.[6] He moved to Hillsboro in 1992 and worked for First Interstate Bank as a systems analyst.[6] Riley also worked in the same position with Blue Cross of Oregon.[6] He later ran his own computer consulting business.[7] Riley is married to wife Katie Riley who teaches at Oregon Health & Sciences University, and they have four children.[5] He enrolled at Portland State University where he majored in art.[5]

Political careerEdit

In 2000, Riley enter politics and ran for a seat on the Hillsboro City Council, losing to incumbent Karen McKinney.[6] The following year he ran for a seat in the Oregon House of Representatives as a Democrat to represent District 29, running unopposed in the primary election.[6][8] In the November general election he lost to Republican Mary Gallegos by a total of 434 votes.[9] In May 2004, Riley defeated Elena Uhing in the Democratic primary for the same district.[10] Riley then defeated Gallegos in the November 2004 election for the same seat.[11]

In 2006, he faced off against Terry Rilling in the district that has more Democratic voters than Republicans.[12] Riley won with 55% of the vote to Rilling's 45% in the November election.[13] In the 2007-08 Legislature, Riley was chairman of the Government Accountability and Information Technology Committee in the House.[14] During the 2008 special session he also served on the Consumer Protection and the Workforce and Economic Development committees.[15]

Riley faced Rilling again in the November 2008 election for the House seat after Republican primary winner Jeff Duyck was later declared ineligible.[13] Duyck's property spans two districts and the county elections office miscalculated where he was registered to vote and thus which seat he was eligible to run for.[16] Politically, Riley supported Measure 50 in 2007 [7] and Measure 49 in 2007,[7] and is pro-choice on the issue of abortion.[13] In 2009, he announced he would run for a seat in the Oregon State Senate in 2010, challenging incumbent Republican Bruce Starr in District 15.[1] Riley lost to Starr, and in 2011 ran for a seat on the school board for Portland Community College, losing in May to Deanna Palm.[17]

In 2014, Riley ran again for Senate against Starr. The contest was one of the most expensive legislative races in the state and was decided by the closest vote margin, with Riley edging out Starr by just a few hundred votes.[2] He was sworn into the Senate on January 12, 2015, and serves on the Senate Committee on Business and Transportation, the Senate Committee on Finance and Revenue, the Joint Committee on Tax Credits, and the Joint Committee on Audits. Additionally, he serves as co-chair of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Information Technology.[18]

In April 2015, gun rights activists filed a recall petition against Riley. The recall was initiated over Riley's support for "mandatory vaccinations, repealing the gain share tax, increasing the minimum wage, background checks for private gun sales and voting to under-fund the state education system." The recall effort was dropped when organizers could not collect sufficient signatures to place the recall question on the ballot.[19]

On Jan 9, 2017 Riley sponsored SB115 in the senate. This bill would have banned the sale of leaded aviation fuel in Oregon, starting in 2020. The bill did not come out of committee.


  1. ^ a b "Riley announces run for Oregon Senate". The Hillsboro Argus. August 25, 2009. Retrieved August 27, 2009.
  2. ^ a b "Chuck Riley unseats Bruce Starr: Oregon Senate race called". The Oregonian. November 10, 2014. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Chuck Riley: Biography. Oregon House of Representatives. Retrieved on October 16, 2008.
  4. ^ a b c d Anderson, David R. "How to Grow: The big question for Hillsboro", The Oregonian, October 19, 2000, West Zoner, p. 19.
  5. ^ a b c d "The candidates", The Oregonian, April 20, 2006, Graphics, p. 7.
  6. ^ a b c d e Stern, Henry. "Computer consultant will enter primary ", The Oregonian, November 23, 2001, West Zoner p. C2.
  7. ^ a b c Suh, Elizabth. "Both partys' candidates unopposed in District 29", The Oregonian, April 10, 2008, Metro West p. R4.
  8. ^ Stern, Henry. "Few contests crowded as filing deadline closes", The Oregonian, March 13, 2002, West Zoner p. D2.
  9. ^ Boone, Jerry. "At age 65, he's ready to take on legislature", The Oregonian, January 5, 2005, West Zoner p. C1.
  10. ^ Colby, Richard. "Riley will face Gallegos for house seat", The Oregonian, May 19, 2004, West Zoner p. B2.
  11. ^ Stern, Henry. Freshman can't wait to roll up his sleeves", The Oregonian, January 11, 2005, p. A8.
  12. ^ Har, Janie. "Legislature: Up for grabs? Election 2006: Who gains control turns on who wins the seat in at least six districts", The Oregonian, October 25, 2006, A8.
  13. ^ a b c Rehkopf Smith, Jill. “House District 29: Riley-Rilling rematch offers distinctions”, The Oregonian.
  14. ^ Cole, Michelle and Dave Hogan. "Oregon data center touts savings that don't add up", The Oregonian, July 29, 2008, p. A1.
  15. ^ Wong, Peter. "Lawmakers choose interim committee members", Statesman Journal, August 17, 2007, p. 6.
  16. ^ Christensen, Nick. “Rilling to stand alone against Riley County GOP decides not to nominate a replacement for Duyck on ballot”, The Hillsboro Argus, August 29, 2008.
  17. ^ Mapes, Jeff (May 18, 2011). "Former Rep. Chuck Riley loses bid for PCC board". The Oregonian. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  18. ^ "Chuck Riley looks for small business owners to join Legislative Advisory Council". The Oregonian. January 15, 2015. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
  19. ^ "Chuck Riley recall, Oregon State Senate (2015)". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 11 May 2018.

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