I am a proud born and raised Oregonian, a family man, and a pragmatic, honest leader for Springfield. I was born in LaGrande and lived in Wallowa until I was a junior in high school. We had limited economic opportunities in Wallowa, so our family moved to Springfield where my dad started working at Alexander's Department Store. I graduated from Thurston High School, Lane Community College and the University of Oregon. Completion of my college education was interrupted by the Vietnam War. During this time I spent four years in the Army Security Agency.
After my service I graduated from U of O and married Tresa Brotherton. It became very clear to us that Springfield was a special place and it still is. People in Springfield are independent, hard-working and resilient. It is a place where people can raise and grow a family. Tresa and I did exactly that. We have now been married for 50 years. We raised our daughters here and now our four grandchildren are being raised here. Family is always first.
I have seen many changes and improvements over the years and I'm proud to have contributed to those improvements through volunteer service. My volunteer service includes Lane Workforce Partnership, United Way, Western Rivers Girl Scout Council, Strong Schools for Springfield and many more. Each has helped me gain knowledge about our community and what I can do to help.
Community is what makes us strong. It binds us together and supports us when we are in need. I believe that service to my community is the way to make a difference. My years of service have reinforced that only by working together can we improve. Springfield is a community that listens, works across the aisle and is never afraid to ask the tough questions. I always do my best to reflect this in my work at the State Legislature. The best way to represent a community is to listen. Your view is important no matter your political party or ideology. I will listen to all sides before making a decision. I am proud to be a pragmatic, honest leader for Springfield.
I believe in local control and understand that one size does not fit all. It's why elected officials and decision makers in the region have my direct line. My career has included being Mayor of Springfield and many years working in economic development. I've also worked for manufacturing companies and contact center management. Working in the private sector has provided me first hand knowledge of the challenges of maintaining good wages and benefits for our people. This experience has been invaluable in my ability to understand differing perspectives and approaches to problem solving.
I've had the privilege of serving in the State Legislature since 2013. I believe in a bipartisan approach. My wife was a teacher at Centennial Elementary and my daughter is a teacher at Springfield High School so improving our education system has been one of my main priorities. I believe small businesses are what keep Oregon's economy running. I've served on many different committees and currently Chair the Higher Education and Gambling Regulation Committees. I also serve on the Economic Development and Small Business Committee.
I have always been proud to say I represent Springfield and I am honored to represent our citizens in Salem.