(Update: Michael Sipe announces GOP bid for seat; Breese Iverson announcement))
Meanwhile, Rep. Vikki Breese Iverson to seek reelection in redrawn District 55
REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- State Rep. Jack Zika, R-Redmond, announced Thursday that he will not run for reelection next year "due to family illness and personal health reasons."
"It has been my honor to serve as your state representative," Zika said in his announcement, "and we have accomplished so much for Central Oregon in the last three years."
Zika was elected to serve House District 53 in 2018, defeating Democrat Eileen Keily 56-43%, and won re-election last year, defeating Democrat Emerson Levy 57-43%.
During the 81st Legislative Session, Zika served on the Rules Committee, Housing Committee, Ways and Means Subcommittee on Transportation and Economic Development, and is the vice-chair of the Early Childhood Committee.
Zika also serves on the Governors Racial Justice Council, Racial Disparities in Housing, Early Childhood Caucus, and Joint Task Force on Student Success for Underrepresented Students in Higher Education.
"Representative Zika has made strides in affordable housing as he passed legislation to develop more affordable housing in Redmond," the news release stated. "He helped create the Department of Early Learning and Care, which will consolidate programs, expand employment day care programs, and provide one-stop resources for parents and childcare providers alike.
Zika also has worked on legislation to help Central Oregon's veterans; stewarded a ladder fuel reduction bill through the legislature that will direct resources from the Oregon Department of Forestry to fire risk reduction efforts; secured $13 million in funds for OSU-Cascades; funding for infrastructure and other development within the district; funds for the Food Bank; and helped anchor $250 million for the Landlord Compensation Fund.
"This was a hard decision," Zika said, "but I'm proud of all the work we have done together to bring much-needed resources for Central Oregon. I will forever cherish these memories and relationships, and I hope that anyone who runs for this position loves and appreciates this amazing community as much as I do. I want to thank each and every one of you for all your support, and I will truly miss being your State Representative.”
The announcement said that "Zika will serve out his term and continue to fight for Central Oregonians."
Levy announced she will run for the seat in the newly drawn District 53, but no candidate filings are being accepted by the state until a challenge to the new redistricting lines is decided by the Oregon Supreme Court.
Just hours after the announcement, a new Republican candidate for the seat issued this news release:
Michael Sipe Announces Candidacy for Republican Nominee for Oregon House District 53
Tumalo, Oregon – Tumalo resident, small business owner, community leader and Army veteran Michael Sipe today announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for Oregon House District 53, which includes southwest Redmond, Sisters, Tumalo, the northern portion of Bend and a large portion of rural Deschutes County. House District 53 is currently represented by Jack Zika, who has announced he will not seek reelection.
Sipe, a 17-year resident of Central Oregon, father of three grown children, step father to three additional grown children, and grandfather to three, said he is running to reverse the flow of values and control between Central Oregon and Salem:
“We Central Oregonians cherish our independence and our way of life. We’ve been taking direction from Salem for too long, and I’m running to help change that. We know what our state government wants for us: small business and school closures, sky-high gas, food and housing costs and policies that make our communities less safe. It’s time to reverse that trend and let Salem learn from Central Oregonians. That’s what I will do as State Representative.”
Sipe owns CrossPointe Capital, a firm specializing in business mergers and acquisitions, and 10x Catalyst Groups, which helps CEOs grow their businesses consistent with their Christian values. He has assisted with over a half-billion dollars in mergers and acquisitions, using his ability to communicate and resolve differences head-on to assist his clients.
Sipe is also the author of the AVADA Principle, a book about living an integrated life of work, worship and service. He is the Chairman of the Bend Christmas Parade, the largest Christmas parade in Oregon, a member and former president of the Rotary Club of Greater Bend and a former board member of the Bend Chamber of Commerce board of directors.
“Service is central to my life, and I see serving as State Representative as an important way to serve my fellow Central Oregonians in these difficult times. I appreciate the tremendous leadership provided by Representative Jack Zika during his tenure in the House and look forward to continuing his important work on affordable housing, child care and wildfire prevention.”
Sipe is married and lives with his wife, Cathie Coe Sipe, in Tumalo.
Meanwhile, Rep. Vikki Breese Iverson, R-Prineville, who was the representative for House District 55, announced her official kick-off campaign for the primary 2022 for the redistricted House District 59. House District 59 now includes all of Crook County and northern portions of Deschutes County and most of Jefferson County.
“Redistricting removed some incredible people from my district, but I know they will be in good hands with Representative Reschke,” Breese Iverson said on losing the southern portions of House District 55. She added, “However, being able to represent the farms, ranches and communities in Jefferson and Deschutes counties, along with my home county of Crook will be incredible. My family roots run deep in Central Oregon, and I am proud to say the Breeses have been farming and ranching along side Jefferson and Deschutes county folks for generations.”
Representative Breese Iverson said she successfully brought a lot of resources home to her counties in the past legislative session, including $13 million for a new justice center in Crook County, wildland firefighting equipment for Lake County, wastewater treatment dollars for Crescent and Gilchrist, ODOT enhancements for La Pine and much more.
“Central Oregonians could not have a better, more effective advocate in the State House of Representatives than Vikki Breese Iverson, said former Congressman Greg Walden. "She has farming and ranching in her blood. She understands what it takes to get the economy on track again. She’s a good listener who takes what she hears and works well with others to find solutions. I’m delighted to support her. Salem would be a lot better place if we had more Vikki Breese Iversons in office.”
Breese Iverson will be holding campaign and town hall stops in Prineville, Redmond, Terrebonne, Madras, Crooked River Ranch and Sisters. The dates and times for these campaign and town hall locations will be on her website, please visit www.friendsofvikki.com.