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Lee seeks state GOP chairmanship


Clackamas County Republican Party Chairman John Lee Jr. has announced his candidacy for statewide chairmanship.

Lee hopes to build on recent victories that have put Republican majorities on the technically nonpartisan Clackamas County Commission and seven city councils. Although Republicans during the November election lost a Clackamas County seat in the Oregon Legislature, redistricting was a factor.

Republicans’ central committee is scheduled to meet in Salem on Feb. 2 to decide among a crowded slate of candidates that includes Lee, former congressional candidate and Cave Junction resident Art Robinson, former Clackamas County Commission candidate John Swanson, Portland State University student Michael Garvin and former Tigard legislative candidates Suzanne Gallagher.

“I will build on the success we’ve had in Clackamas County electing conservative candidates and building enthusiasm and confidence in the Republican party,” said Lee. “I look forward to leading the party by honoring the diversity in ideology of our membership and creating a more inclusive and formidable brand.”

Lee also help orchestrate large Clackamas County initiative victories against the Sellwood Bridge fee, and to force votes on public-rail or urban-renewal spending.

“John’s leadership and success in Clackamas County makes him a natural choice for our state party,” said state Rep. Bill Kennemer, R-Oregon City.

Lee attributes his success with uniting conservative groups to his focus on issues that matter to everyone.

“A two-party system is healthy, and we don’t have that in Oregon right now,” said Lee. “We change that by building a Republican Party that is proactive and inclusive of divergent conservative views. I look forward to bringing a leadership style and vision that empowers conservative groups to work together to create a more balanced government in Oregon.”

Former Oregon Attorney General candidate James Buchal announced his candidacy for vice chair of the Oregon Republican Party.

The statewide election for Republican Party officers is Feb. 2