Race for Rep. Phil Barnhart’s Seat in the Legislature Heats Up

Two Democratic candidates announce they are running

Now that longtime Democratic Rep. Phil Barnhart has announced he is not running to retain his seat in the Oregon Legislature, the race is starting to heat up.

As we mentioned in our Dec. 28 Slant, Barnhart’s District 11 leans liberal but has enough rural conservatives to make it a real race.

So far EW knows of two Democrats looking to step into Barnhart’s position.

Marty Wilde, a lawyer and health care administrator, has confirmed plans to run for the seat. Wilde has political experience — he serves on the Eugene Police Commission and on the Lane County Performance Audit Committee and is the rules chair for the Democratic Party of Lane County.

Also entering the race is Kimberly Koops-Wrabek, who describes herself on her website as law clerk for SEIU and former union organizer who grew up in rural Oregon and worked in DC for Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. Koops-Wrabek has filed as a candidate with the Oregon Secretary of State and she says she has $4,728 reported on Orestar, which tracks political fundraising and $7,000 including pledges as of Jan. 9.

No Republicans were listed as having filed as of yet on Orestar.

This story has been updated.

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