Oregon State Senate

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The Oregon State Senate is the upper house of the statewide legislature for the US state of Oregon. Along with the lower chamber Oregon House of Representatives it makes up the Oregon Legislative Assembly. There are 30 members of the State Senate, representing 30 districts across the state, each with a population of 127,700.[1] The State Senate meets at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem.

Oregon State Senate
Oregon Legislative Assembly
Coat of arms or logo
Term limits
New session started
January 11, 2021
Peter Courtney (D)
since January 13, 2003
President pro Tempore
James Manning Jr. (D)
since January 11, 2021
Majority Leader
Rob Wagner (D)
since May 22, 2020
Minority Leader
Fred Girod (R)
since January 11, 2021
Political groups
  •   Democratic (18)


Length of term
4 years
AuthorityArticle IV, Oregon Constitution
Salary$21,612/year + per diem
Last election
November 3, 2020
(16 seats)
Next election
November 8, 2022
(14 seats)
RedistrictingLegislative Control
Meeting place
State Senate Chamber
Oregon State Capitol
Salem, Oregon
Oregon State Senate
2019–2021 map of Senators

Oregon State Senators serve four-year terms without term limits. In 2002, the Oregon Supreme Court struck down the decade-old Oregon Ballot Measure 3, that had restricted State Senators to two terms (eight years) on procedural grounds.[2]

Like certain other upper houses of state and territorial legislatures and the United States Senate, the State Senate can confirm or reject gubernatorial appointments to state departments, commissions, boards, and other state governmental agencies.

The current Senate President is Peter Courtney of Salem.[3]

Oregon, along with Arizona, Maine, and Wyoming, is one of the four U.S. states to not have the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, a position which for most upper houses of state legislatures and for the United States Congress (with the Vice President) is the head of the legislative body and holder of the casting vote in the event of a tie. Instead, a separate position of Senate President is in place, removed from the state executive branch. If the chamber is tied, legislators must devise their own methods of resolving the impasse. In 2002, for example, Oregon's state senators entered into a power sharing contract whereby Democratic senators nominated the Senate President while Republican senators chaired key committees.[4]


Kathryn Clarke was the first woman to serve in Oregon's Senate. Women became eligible to run for the Oregon state legislature in 1914 and later that year Clarke was appointed to fill a vacant seat in Douglas county by her cousin, governor Oswald West. Following some controversy concerning whether West had the authority to appoint someone to fill the vacancy, Clarke campaigned and was elected by voters in 1915.[5] She took office five years before Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution protected the right of all American women to vote.

In 1982, Mae Yih became the first Chinese-American elected to a state senate in the United States.


Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Democratic Republican Independent Vacant
End of 75th Assembly (2010) 18 12 0 30 0
76th Assembly (2011–2012) 16 14 0 30 0
77th Assembly (2013–2014) 16 14 0 30 0
78th Assembly (2015–2016) 18 12 0 30 0
79th Assembly (2017–2018) 17 13 0 30 0
80th Assembly (2019–2021) 18 12 0 30 0
Begin 81st (2021–present) 18 12 0 30 0
January 15, 2021[6] 11 1 30 0
Latest voting share 60% 36.7% 3.3%


During the 2011 legislative session, the House and Senate passed Senate Bill 989, which implemented new legislative districts for the 2012 elections and beyond.[7]

Statewide view of 2012 Senate Districts
Portland Metro Area view of 2012 Senate Districts

81st SenateEdit

The 81st Oregon Legislative Assembly, which holds its regular session from 2021 to 2023, has the following leadership:

Senate President: Peter Courtney (D–11 Salem)
President Pro Tempore: James Manning Jr. (D–7 Eugene)
Majority Leader: Rob Wagner (D–19 Lake Oswego)
Minority Leader: Fred Girod (R-9 Stayton)

District Senator Party Residence Assumed office
1 Dallas Heard Republican Roseburg 2018[a]
2 Art Robinson Republican Cave Junction 2021
3 Jeff Golden Democratic Ashland 2019
4 Floyd Prozanski Democratic Eugene 2003
5 Dick Anderson Republican Coos Bay 2021
6 Lee Beyer Democratic Springfield 2011
7 James Manning Jr. Democratic Eugene 2017[a]
8 Sara Gelser Democratic Corvallis 2015
9 Fred Girod Republican Stayton 2008[a]
10 Deb Patterson Democratic Salem 2021
11 Peter Courtney Democratic 1999
12 Brian Boquist Independent Dallas 2009
13 Kim Thatcher Republican Keizer 2015
14 Kate Lieber Democratic Beaverton 2021
15 Chuck Riley Democratic Hillsboro 2015
16 Betsy Johnson Democratic Scappoose 2007
17 Elizabeth Steiner Hayward Democratic Portland 2012[a]
18 Ginny Burdick Democratic 1997
19 Rob Wagner Democratic Lake Oswego 2018[a]
20 Alan Olsen[b] Republican Canby 2011
Bill Kennemer[c] Republican Canby 2021[a]
21 Kathleen Taylor Democratic Portland 2017
22 Lew Frederick Democratic 2017
23 Michael Dembrow Democratic 2013[a]
24 Kayse Jama Democratic 2021[a]
25 Chris Gorsek Democratic Troutdale 2021
26 Chuck Thomsen Republican Hood River 2010
27 Tim Knopp Republican Bend 2013
28 Dennis Linthicum Republican Klamath Falls 2017
29 Bill Hansell Republican Athena 2013
30 Lynn Findley Republican Vale 2020[a]

Past composition of the SenateEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Senator was originally appointed.
  2. ^ Olsen resigned on January 10, 2021.[8]
  3. ^ Kennemer was appointed as Olsen's successor on February 1, 2021.[9]


  1. ^ "Senate Home". www.oregonlegislature.gov. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
  2. ^ Green, Ashbel S.; Lisa Grace Lednicer (January 17, 2006). "State high court strikes term limits". Oregonian. Portland, Oregon: Oregonian Publishing. pp. A1.
  3. ^ Oregon Blue Book: Senate Presidents of Oregon
  4. ^ National Conference of State Legislatures. "In Case of a Tie..." Retrieved November 3, 2010.
  5. ^ Kimberly Jensen. "Kathryn Clarke". The Oregon Encyclopedia.
  6. ^ Republican Brian Boquist (District 12) changed his party registration from Republican to Independent. [1]
  7. ^ "Tracking Senate Bill 989 in the Oregon Legislature". Your Government :: The Oregonian. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
  8. ^ Ramakrishnan, Jayati (January 4, 2021). "Oregon senator from Clackamas County will resign". OregonLive. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  9. ^ Lindstrand, Emily (February 1, 2021). "Commissioners appoint Bill Kennemer to Senate District 20". Pamplin Media Group. Retrieved February 3, 2021.

External linksEdit