Anna Scharf Takes Oath Of Office As Mike Nearman’s Replacement
Oregon’s newest state representative took the oath of office at the Oregon Capitol Monday.
Anna Scharf is a Republican and will represent House District 23, which includes parts of Polk, Benton, Marion and Yamhill Counties. Scharf was appointed by commissioners in those counties to replace fellow Republican Mike Nearman, who was expelled from the Legislature last month for allowing violent demonstrators into the Capitol building.
Scharf said she wants to build bridges in order to serve her district effectively.
“We focus on so many of the negative, small issues that are big issues, but we don’t focus on all the great things that happen in this building," she said. "And I’m excited to be a part of the big things that happen here that help so many Oregonians out.”
Scharf is a farmer and former lobbyist who also worked as an aide to Nearman. Despite her close ties to Nearman, Scharf offered no words of support for her former boss during the two-hour meeting last week in which commissioners selected her by a wide margin as their top choice. Nearman was among the five candidates seeking the appointment.
Scharf said she’ll seek a full term in the seat next year. Winning the seat would require her to emerge victorious during the Republican primary, as well as the general election in November, 2022. The boundaries of the district could change as lawmakers plan to meet later this year to draw up new political boundaries during the once-a-decade redistricting process.
Scharf took the oath of office in the Oregon House chamber in front of an audience of family and friends. It was the first public event in the building since it re-opened hours earlier after a 16-month closure due to the pandemic.
As a legislative aide, Scharf was among the few non-elected officials allowed in the Capitol while it was closed.
"It was different without the people here," she said. "And that's what makes the building tick, is having the people in this building."