County commissioners from across Eastern Oregon picked Rep. Lynn Findley, R-Vale, on Monday to replace Sen. Cliff Bentz, an Ontario Republican and longtime lawmaker who resigned before his term was up to run for Congress.
It’s the second time Findley has been appointed to a legislative seat vacated by Bentz. Findley was appointed to Bentz’ seat in the Oregon House when Bentz was appointed to the Senate in 2018. Both men then ran for those seats in 2018 and were handily elected.
Findley’s step up to the Senate means commissioners from the five counties in his current House district will need to appoint a replacement. They’ll choose from among three to five nominees recommended by Republican precinct committee people in the district. No date has been set for that vote.
Findley, a former Vale city manager who worked for the Bureau of Land Management for three decades, is the only Republican yet to have filed to run for the Senate seat in the November 2020 election.
Mark Owens, a Republican, hay farmer and Harney County commissioner, has filed to run for Findley’s House seat this year.
Bentz is running against former Republican gubernatorial nominee Knute Buehler and some lesser-known Republicans to replace Greg Walden in the U.S. House of Representatives.