Making a difference...Campaigns

Getting things done…Lobbying  |  Making a difference….Campaigns 
Legislative Update

Having an impact on the laws and rules which govern our businesses is a two-part process. 

Part One:  ORPHCC does its part by lobbying the lawmakers and regulators.  As explained above, we are well-equipped to provide officials with the facts and information they need to make well-informed decisions.

Part Two:  The second part of the two-part process is up to you.  Before lawmakers get to Salem, they have to be elected.  To be elected, they need your help.  You can sit on the sidelines and let other people decide who will be elected every two years.  Or, you can step up to the plate and help decide who gets elected.  Do we want our lobbyist to work with Legislators who care about jobs and economic development, or Legislators who care about more rules, more regulations and higher taxes?   Contributing to your association’s campaign fund is simply part of the cost of doing business

We must make a difference BEFORE election day, not just during Legislative Sessions.

ORPHCC has a political action committee called the Plumbing Heating and Cooling Industry PAC.  Contributions to the PAC are used to support candidates who will fight for the survival businesses across Oregon, small and large.  Contributions may be made from company or personal funds.  It is your choice.

ORPHCC members (including Associate Members) are encouraged to join one of two clubs:

Capitol Club members contribute $1,000 per year to ORPHCC’s campaign fund.  You can simply write a $1,000 check to the Plumbing  Heating and Cooling Industry PAC, or we can arrange to bill your credit card monthly ($83.33) or in one lump sum. 

Campaign Club members contribute $500 per year to ORPHCC’s campaign fund.  You can simply write a $500 check to the Plumbing  Heating and Cooling Industry PAC, or we can arrange to bill your credit card monthly ($41.66) or in one lump sum. 

You can also make a one-time contribution of any amount by clicking here or mail your checks to 3340 Commercial St SE Ste 210 / Salem OR 97302.  If you have any questions, please call 503-557-1203 or email

Election 2016 preview
April 15, 2016 / day after the election,g_north,h_1000,q_90,w_640/Budpic_nw2g3z.jpg,g_north,h_1000,q_90,w_640/campaignphotoAA_fmjacu.jpg
Governor Kate Brown, Dr. Bud Pierce, Allen Alley,h_730,q_90,w_940/dennis_je8hfe.jpg
Dennis Richardson, Sid Leiken, Sen. Richard Devlin, Rep. Val Hoyle, Commissioner Brad Avakian

By: Darrell W. Fuller

The results of the 2016 elections could mark a significant shift in Oregon politics at the state level. While Oregon will likely continue to be a dependably Democratically dominated state, there will be significant turn over in leadership positions.

At the top, we will have a new Governor.  Sort of.  While it seems a long time ago, just two years ago we elected Dr. John Kitzhaber to an historic third term as Governor. (Governors can only serve two consecutive terms.  Governor Kitzhaber was the first in Oregon history to return after two terms to run and win again.)  But Kitzhaber resigned in disgrace just weeks after taking the oath of office and Secretary of State Kate Brown became Oregon’s unelected Governor.  Now, she is running to complete the remaining two years of Kitzhaber’s term.  Two Republicans (Dr. Bud Pierce and Allen Alley) are vying for the chance to run against her in November.  And, since this campaign is for only the remaining two years of Kitzhaber’s term, we will have another gubernatorial election two years from now.  That means Oregon will have three gubernatorial elections in six years.  Unprecedented. 

Since the Secretary of State (Kate Brown) became Governor, we got a newly appointed Secretary of State.  Appointed by newly appointed Governor Kate Brown, Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins is not running for a four-year stint, so we will have a new Secretary of State. Three Democrats (Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian, Senator Richard Devlin and State Rep. Val Hoyle) and two Republicans (former State Rep. Dennis Richardson and Lane County Commissioner Sid Leiken) are competing for this job.

If Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian wins, the Governor will appoint someone to replace him.  If Senator Devlin wins, the Governor will appoint someone to replace him. 

In the Oregon Legislature, we have an unusually large number of lawmakers leaving to retire or seek other positions. Even if Democrats replace Democrats and Republicans replace Republicans, the newly elected lawmakers will be inexperienced and others will move up the leadership ladder, creating new committee chairs and changing the landscape at the Capitol.

After the Primary Election in May, this page will be updated with the races to watch in November, 2016.

Reviewing chicken scratches on unofficial returns
November 5, 2014 / day after the election

By: Darrell W. Fuller

“It was a dark and stormy night” and when all the ballots are counted, the numbers will have changed little in the Oregon Legislature.  All 60 House seats were up for re-election while 16 of the 30 Senate seats were on the ballot (76 total legislative races). 

Let’s look at the numbers.

After the 2012 election, the Oregon Senate had 16 Democrats and 14 Republicans and the Oregon House of Representatives had 34 Democrats and 26 Republicans.  After the 2014 election, the Oregon Senate will have 17 Democrats and 13 Republicans* and the Oregon House will have 35 Democrats and 25 Republicans.

Millions and millions of dollars -- much of it from out-of-state billionaires -- were spent on these 76 Legislative races, all for a net partisan shift of only one seat in the State Senate and one seat in the State House.  And out of 61 incumbents running for re-election, 59 won.

Of the 16 State Senate races, 15 had an incumbent running and 14 of those 15 incumbents won.  The only incumbent to lose: State Sen. Betsy Close (R-Albany).  This race is why Democrats gained one seat in the Senate.

Only one State House incumbents lost: State Rep. Jim Thompson (R-Dallas) lost in the May Primary to a more conservative Republican.  Of the 60 House members, 46 campaigned for re-election and 45 won.

While a partisan shift of +1 Democrat in the Senate may seem insignificant, next year’s Legislative Session will likely demonstrate how important a one-seat shift can be in politics.  With last session’s razor thin 16-14 Democratic majority in the Senate, conservative-leaning Democratic State Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) sometimes sided with the GOP on controversial bills, creating a 15-15 tie. (Controversial?  Think gun control, for example.)  Those controversial bills never made it to the Governor’s desk.  Now, with a 17-13 Democratic majority, even if Sen. Johnson continues to vote with the GOP on controversial issues, they will pass 16-14, assuming Senate Republicans can’t convince another Democrat to cross party lines.

Across the nation, Republicans had a big night on election day.  The GOP took control of the U.S. Senate and substantially increased their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Oregon was an outlier.  Democrats will continue to control the Office of Governor, the state Senate and the state House of Representatives.

Aspirin, anyone?

*              The State Senate numbers assume State Sen. Bruce Starr (R-Hillsboro) wins re-election.  As I write this, he has a 123 vote lead out of more than 30,000 votes counted with thousands still to count. (Moral to this story: Yes, every vote does count.) If State Sen. Starr loses, the Democratic majority will be 18-12.


Oregon State Association of Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors
PO Box 13141, Salem OR 97309 | 503-557-1203 |