Oregon House Republicans pick Vikki Breese-Iverson as new caucus leader

A sign for the House Republican caucus room at the Oregon State Capitol on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021. (Amanda Loman/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

Oregon House Republicans on Tuesday selected Prineville Rep. Vikki Breese-Iverson as their new caucus leader after Rep. Christine Drazan, R-Canby, stepped down from the post to focus on her campaign for governor.

In a statement, Breese-Iverson said she was proud of the work the caucus has done over the past few years to stand up to Democrats’ one-party control over state government.

“The size of state government has ballooned after a decade of Democrats’ liberal agenda-driven focus and as a result made Oregon more expensive for everyone,” she said. “I look forward to continuing our work in this new role to fight for much-needed balance. House Republicans will not stop pushing for solutions that focus on the actual needs of Oregonians.”

Breese-Iverson was first appointed in 2019 to replace Rep. Mike McLane, who Gov. Kate Brown appointed as a circuit court judge. She won election to a full term in 2020.

Over the past several months, Breese-Iverson has been one of a small group of Oregon legislators raising doubt about the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. She sent Secretary of State Shemia Fagan, who oversees both elections and audits, a letter in October requesting a “forensic audit” of the election.

After Fagan denied the request, noting that Oregon already conducts routine election audits and asking Breese-Iverson to help her dispel election misinformation, Breese-Iverson joined GOP state Sens. Dennis Linthicum and Kim Thatcher and Rep. Lily Morgan in signing on to an additional open letter calling to replicate a controversial Arizona ballot review in all 50 states.

Breese-Iverson owns a Prineville real estate firm.

Drazan had led the House Republican caucus since 2019. She said in a statement she was stepping down to prepare for her run for governor.

“I have enjoyed working alongside my Republican colleagues who have been committed to amplifying the voices of tens of thousands of Oregonians that feel unheard by our current state leadership,” Drazan said.

House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, is also running for governor and thus far has indicated she intends to continue leading her caucus.

Breese-Iverson’s ascension means central Oregon representatives now hold top posts in both Republican caucuses. Senate Republicans selected Sen. Tim Knopp, R-Bend, as their new leader last month after Sen. Fred Girod, R-Stayton, stepped back for health reasons.

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