Two Coos Bay Lawmakers Won’t Seek Re-election

Nov 19, 2019

Two state lawmakers from the southern Oregon coast said Tuesday that they won’t seek another term in office. Their departures will be effective in January 2021, and it means the Coos Bay area will be choosing a new state senator and a new state representative in the 2020 election.

Sen. Arnie Roblan, D-Coos Bay, was first elected to the Oregon House in 2004. He rose in the ranks to become the co-speaker of the chamber in 2011, when the House was divided evenly among Democrats and Republicans. Roblan was elected to the Oregon Senate in 2012.

Credit Rachael McDonald / KLCC

The former high school principal was known in recent years for his work toward passing a funding package for K-12 schools. “Passing the Student Success Act is the single biggest accomplishment of my legislative career, and I'm very proud of the work that my colleagues and I were able to deliver for the people of Oregon,” said Sen. Roblan in a statement.

In the House, Rep. Caddy McKeown, D-Coos Bay, will step down at the end of her term. She’s held the seat since 2013. McKeown was the leader of the Oregon House’s push to pass a massive transportation funding package in 2017.

“Over my four terms, I have been proud to work across the aisle to bring significant investments to our communities on the South Coast," said McKeown in a statement. "It has truly been an honor.”

Both the House and Senate seats being vacated have more Democrats than Republicans, but the margin is narrower than in many other districts. Democrats currently hold supermajorities in both the House and Senate.

Coos County Commissioner Melissa Cribbins, a Democrat, said Tuesday she would run for Roblan's seat. On the House side, former Coos Bay City Councilor Mark Daily has filed for the seat. Daily, a Democrat, tried unsuccessfully to unseat McKeown in the 2018 Democratic primary. Candidates have until March 10, 2020 to file for the May, 2020 primary.