Initial returns in Tuesday’s general election show Rep. Mike McLane, R-Powell Butte, beating Democratic challenger Karen Rippberger to again represent House District 55.

McLane, the Oregon House minority leader, is seeking his fifth two-year-term representing the rural district, which covers portions of Deschutes, Crook, Jackson, Klamath and Lake counties.

He was first elected to the House in 2010 and serves on the state’s budget committee.

McLane, a partner with the Bend law firm Lynch Conger McLane, focused his campaign this year on reforming spending in the state budget, supporting jobs and funding education.

McLane, who grew up in the small town of Condon, previously said that he enjoys advocating in Salem for the rural lifestyle of his district.

Rippberger, of La Pine, is a longtime educator who has spent her career supporting the rights and fair treatment of students and the disabled. She taught at an inner-city grade school and juvenile facility in San Jose, California, and worked with academically challenged students in the small town of Mammoth Lakes, California. She teaches English online to students in China.

She had planned to use her experience to represent the district and work with the local schools.

— Reporter: 541-617-7820,