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Roseburg Rep. Gary Leif Dies

Oregon Legislature

Oregon state Rep. Gary Leif, R-Roseburg, has died.



A statement from the Douglas County Board of Commissioners said Leif passed away unexpectedly Thursday morning in Roseburg. The news release did not give any details about his death. The News-Review of Roseburg cited "a reliable source close to Leif" as saying that Leif's death "came at the end of a battle with cancer."


Leif was first appointed to the House in May, 2018, and won election to a full term that November. In 2020, he ran for--and won--a second full term in office.


He previously served as a Douglas County commissioner.


“I was honored to work alongside Gary as a County Commissioner, and proud of him for stepping up to the State level during a very demanding and difficult time," said Tim Freeman, a current commissioner. "His dedication and willingness to serve the citizens of Douglas County and his District will forever be remembered."


Leif drew praise from his colleagues at the state capitol.


"Gary’s sense of humor, his commitment to bipartisanship and his love of family and community marked his service in the Oregon Legislature," said House Republican leader Rep. Christine Drazan of Canby. "His energy and enthusiasm accomplished great work for his district, and he will be sorely missed."


"Gary was champion for his district and a lovely man," House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland said on Twitter. "My prayers are with his family and community."


Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”