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Bend City Councilor Anthony Broadman to run for Knopp’s Oregon Senate seat

A person stands at a podium. In the background is a banner that says City of Bend Police Department. There is an Oregon flag in the background.
Bradley W. Parks
Anthony Broadman, then-Bend mayor pro tem, addresses the shooting at Forum Shopping Center in Bend in this Aug. 29, 2022, file photo. He announced Monday his candidacy for Senate District 27.

Bend City Councilor Anthony Broadman announced Monday his candidacy for Senate District 27, currently occupied by Senate Minority Leader Tim Knopp, a Republican from Bend who spearheaded a walkout earlier this year.

Broadman, 44, is an Indigenous rights attorney who was elected to the City Council in 2020.

A Democrat, he was elected to the council as part of a progressive slate. He’s been vocal on Bend’s longstanding housing affordability crisis and various efforts to make the city more walkable.

A file photo taken at the state Legislature in March. State Sen. Tim Knopp, R-Bend, right, has wasted no time calling for Secretary of State Shemia Fagan to resign over consulting work.
Kristyna Wentz-Graff
State Sen. Tim Knopp, R-Bend, right, at the Oregon Capitol in Salem, March 20, 2023.

Broadman also served as the face of the council during a deadly shooting at a Safeway in 2022, when he was the acting mayor. Last year, he helped carry a 4-3 vote to pass the city’s controversial camping ban, which some homeless advocates and service providers have described as inhumane.

Broadman told OPB he was frustrated with this year’s six-week walkout of 10 conservative state senators, including Knopp. The walkout was launched in an effort to stymie bills on abortion access and gun control.

“It’s been very frustrating for everybody in Central Oregon that a small group of senators have refused to show up for Central Oregon and for the rest of the state,” Broadman said.

Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade has said 10 senators, including Knopp, are not eligible to run for reelection. Voters passed Measure 113 last year, barring lawmakers with 10 or more unexcused absences from running for at least a term. Knopp and four other senators are currently suing to defy Griffin-Valade’s decision, by challenging the technical wording of the measure.

Knopp has served in the Senate since 2012 and is its highest ranking Republican. He handily won his first two elections, but in 2020, just narrowly defeated Democrat Eileen Kiely, with 50.7% of the vote.

Knopp did not immediately return requests for comment.

Candidate filing does not officially start until Sept. 14.

Copyright 2023 Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Joni Land