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Young Republican leaders touted in new book

Recently released by Carlton-based Ridenbaugh Press, “Transition” was written by Wilsonville resident W. Scott Jorgensen, a former reporter for the Estacada News who also was a news director and talk show host on KAJO radio in Grants Pass and an aide during the Oregon Legislature’s 2005 session. He currently serves as the deputy communications director for the Oregon House Republican Office.

This background gives Jorgensen the unusual experience of viewing Oregon politics through both partisan and nonpartisan lenses.

Milwaukie resident Sarah Pierzchala will join Jorgensen and Kay Bridges in presenting the artist’s view of the colors and styles of campaign literature at Patriot Talkers Toastmasters at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, at the Standard TV & Appliance Conference Room, 5240 S.E. 82nd Ave., Portland.

“Transition” begins its narrative in Grants Pass in May 2010, days before the primary election in which Wally Hicks sought the Republican nomination for House District 3 and Hare was among those running for Josephine County commissioner.

Both men were and still are in their early 30s, something which stuck with Jorgensen and ultimately led to his decision to write a book.

“At the time, things were going really well for me,” Jorgensen said. “I was hosting the talk show and helping to run a weekly newspaper in Josephine County. But as I went to celebrate my birthday, I noticed that nearly all of my friends were unemployed.”

Just a few months later, the newspaper changed owners, and Jorgensen soon found himself laid off. He and his family moved to Vancouver, Wash., days before the November 2010 general election, where he watched both Hicks and Hare win their elections. Meanwhile, in Vancouver, Jaime Herrera Beutler became the only Republican on the West Coast to pick up a Congressional seat, despite being only 31 years old.

The pieces of the book started coming together.

“That initial bit of optimism I had after that night quickly disappeared in 2011, as I struggled to find work,” Jorgensen said. “I experienced what so many Americans went through during those challenging economic times.”

But early in 2012, Jorgensen was hired to report on the Oregon Legislature’s February session. He compiled a series of feature stories on all of the contested legislative primary races and noticed that many had younger candidates split between both major political parties and from all across Oregon.

Later that year he was hired as a field director for a statewide ballot measure campaign. During his travels throughout the state, he met more young people who were seeking elected office, including John Davis, a 30-year-old attorney from Wilsonville elected to the state Legislature last November to replace Matt Wingard.

“Even though 2010 and 2012 were drastically different in terms of the national results, the one commonality was that all of the young people I knew who were running for office were successful,” Jorgensen said.

The campaign Jorgensen worked on also was victorious, which helped him land his current position in the Oregon House Republican Office. In that position, Jorgensen works with Hicks and Davis.

“Everywhere I’ve lived in the last seven years, people my age and younger are actively taking part in their governments, at the city, county, state and even the federal level,” Jorgensen said. “It is my belief that the adversity faced by my generation in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the Great Recession and all the other events that will come to define us will also give us the opportunity to rise to those challenges and accomplish great things.”

“Transition” can be ordered online from Ridenbaugh Press at ridenbaugh.com/index.php/ridenbaugh-book-store/transition or visit amazon.com.



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