Sen. Larry George (R-Sherwood) announced today he will not seek re-election next year. George, 45, who was first elected in 2007, runs what he says the nation's biggest biggest hazel-nut processing business with his brother.
George is part of an extended political family. His father, Gary, served as a state senator as did his father-in-law, Rod Johnson.
George and fellow Sen. Brian Boquist (R-Dallas) were key players in the complicated budget deal lawmakers worked out with Gov. John Kitzhaber in the October special session. The two senators insisted on a small business tax cut that was unpalatable to Democrats during this year's regular session but became part of the October deal that included substantial cuts to Public Employee Retirement System and a package of tax increases.
In George's district (Senate District 13), which covers parts of Yahmill, Clackamas, Washington and Marion counties, registered Republicans outnumber Democrats by 4,354 voters.
Here's the statement from George:
"When I entered the Senate in 2007 there were 19 Democrats and only 11 Republicans. With such lop-sided power, bitter partisanship and ideological extremism controlled the Senate. I worked hard during recent elections to move the Oregon Senate to a more balanced 16 Democrats and 14 Republicans - this forced much more bi-partisan cooperation and ultimately led to successes for Oregonians," George said.
"All of these successes were made possible by the team approach the Senate takes to the business of the state," said George. "I encourage my colleagues to keep up the spirit of cooperation which has led to so many great outcomes for Oregonians."