Gary A. Warner
The Bulletin

A Prineville real estate agent active in Republican politics was selected Thursday as the new state representative for House District 55.

Vikki Breese-Iverson was chosen during a meeting of county leaders at the Crook County Courthouse in Prineville.

“She has a lot of experience with land use and as a small-business owner — we need more small-business owners in Salem,” said Deschutes County Commissioner Patti Adair, who was at the courthouse along with Commissioner Tony DeBone.

“It was a unanimous vote from the commissioners in the room and on the phone,” DeBone said. “We thought she was the best qualified candidate.”

Commissioner Phil Henderson, who took part in the voting by phone, said he will be pleased to have Breese-Iverson representing part of the county.

“She should make a terrific legislator,” he said.

Breese-Iverson said that she was talking with officials in Salem to set a date and time to be sworn in.

Once in office, she hopes to get involved in issues even though the Legislature does not meet again until next year.

“I have always had a lot of passion for land use issues,” Iverson said Thursday.

“I also think we can be having a better conversation about forest fires and the impact on air quality. Those have been my big-ticket items.”

Breese-Iverson was selected over two other finalists from Crook County: Deborah Tilden and Peter Sharp.

She will replace former Rep. Mike McLane, R-Powell Butte, who resigned July 1 to take up an appointment by Gov. Kate Brown as a judge on the circuit court for Crook and Jefferson counties.

District 55 includes all of Crook County and parts of Deschutes, Jackson, Klamath and Lake counties.

The district has a history of voting heavily Republican.

McLane won the seat in 2010 and has been reelected by 65% or more of the vote every two years.

Breese-Iverson had been the top vote-getter at a meeting in La Pine on Saturday of the district’s Republican PCPs — precinct committee persons — who decided on the three finalists to forward to the county commissioners and judges.

Secretary of State Bev Clarno’s office said it must certify Breese-Iverson’s selection, then a swearing-in ceremony will be organized.

Breese-Iverson had filed documents to create a campaign finance committee using just her married name, Vikki Iverson.

She said Thursday she plans to use the hyphenated version of her maiden and married names, Vikki Breese-Iverson, going forward and will revise the documents with the state.

Breese-Iverson is the owner of the Windermere Real Estate-branded brokerage in Prineville. Breese-Iverson has been active in local, regional and state groups lobbying the state on behalf of real estate interests.

Seats in the Legislature are considered part-time jobs. Lawmakers receive a $31,200salary, and $149 per diem for each day the Legislature is in session.

They also receive an office expense account for when the Legislature is not meeting.

Breese-Iverson will serve the remainder of McLane’s term, which runs until January 2021.

She has indicated she plans to run in 2020 for a new two-year term.

Breese-Iverson would have to run in the May 2020 Republican primary and, if victorious, in the November 2020 general election.

McLane is one of three circuit court judges for Oregon’s 22nd Judicial District. Annette C. Hillman is the presiding judge. Daina A. Vitolins is also a judge.

— Reporter: 541-640-2750, gwarner@bendbulletin.com

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