Lynn Findley, R-Vale, takes Cliff Bentz’s seat in the Legislature. Bentz is running for Congress.
By Teresa Jackson
Madras Pioneer | January 16, 2020

Lynn Findley, R-Vale, has been appointed to the Oregon Senate by Republican leaders in Senate District 30.

Findley is replacing Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario, who resigned his seat to run for the U.S. House of Representatives following Rep. Greg Walden’s announcement that he will not seek reelection in 2020.

Findley was serving in the Oregon House of Representatives, representing House District 60, which covers Harney, Grant, Baker and Malheur counties, as well as part of Lake County.

His new district adds Jefferson, Wasco and Wheeler counties, as well as parts of Deschutes, Clackamas and Marion counties.

Jefferson County Commissioner Mae Huston was among the precinct committee members and commissioners who voted for a replacement for Bentz in a two-part selection process. County Commissioner Kelly Simmelink and County Administrator Jeff Rasmussen attended the second part of the process. Huston said Findley received 50.33% of the commissioners’ 26 votes, compared with 16% for Rod Runyon, of Wasco County, and 11.3% for for Eric Wattenberg, of Sisters.

“The usual procedure was followed, and I think it went well,” Huston said. “The three candidates spoke to the commissioners from the nine counties in the Senate district and then answered questions. I knew Rod Runyon from The Dalles the best from having served together on Association of Oregon Counties committees and voted for him, but I am very pleased with Lynn Findley. He did well in his first term as a state representative, he is very pleasant, and I know he will work hard on behalf of the whole district.”

“I grew up on a small farm in Malheur County raising registered beef cattle and working in the family small business,” Findley said in an information sheet for the voters. “After my federal firefighting career, I continue to live on a small acreage outside of Vale.”

He spent five years as Vale’s city manager, but most of his career — 32 years of it — was in fire and aviation management with the Bureau of Land Management.

“I have extensive program management as well as budgeting experience developing local, regional and national budgets with the bureau,” he said.

In the Legislature, he served on the Revenue, Joint Tax Expenditures, Energy and Environment, Veterans and Emergency Preparedness and Transportation committees. He was also the House Republic Caucus whip.

As for Senate District 30, “I want to increase collaboration with state and local government agencies to remove and prevent unnecessary regulatory restrictions and other barriers related to economic development and identify viable industrial, commercial and residential land throughout the district,” he said. “Maintain and enhance current efforts in the preservation of water, ranching and farming practices for agriculture and natural resources is very important to me. Support city and county home rule authority regulations.”