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Oregon Republican State Senator Dallas Heard resigns

Republican Sen. Dallas Heard, as pictured on the Oregon Senate website, will resign.
Oregon Senate
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Republican Sen. Dallas Heard, as pictured on the Oregon Senate website, will resign.

Oregon Sen. Dallas Heard said he’s resigning from his legislative seat early next year.

His letter to the Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp was one sentence:

“I am writing to inform you that I will be resigning my elected position as State Senator for Oregon Senate District 1 effective 12:01 am January 1st, 2023.”

Heard’s current term was not set to end until 2025.

In a longer statement, received by the News Review, Heard called the decision the most difficult he’s had to make.

Addressing his constituents Heard wrote, ”Thank you for being the kind of people who made it easy to stand up in Salem for the freedom and rights of all citizens during the COVID era. I never had to question if the overwhelming majority in my district was with me in standing up for the few, the weak, the poor, and the oppressed”

He added that he would be resigning until his children are at an age where they are more ready to face the world on their own.

“The country as a whole has seen an ever-growing movement of evil rising that is determined to take our children’s hearts and minds away from their parents,” Heard said in the statement.

Heard was removed from the state capital in late February after refusing to wear a mask on the Senate floor. Heard was absent for most of the legislative session, though he attended committee meetings, which were held remotely. He subsequently stepped down as chair of the Oregon GOP in March.

In a letter to members of the Republican Party of Oregon, notifying them of his decision to give up his leadership role, Heard criticized his fellow Republicans: “They have broken my spirit,” he wrote. “I can face the Democrats with courage and conviction, but I can’t fight my own people too.”

Heard has been representing Senate District 1, which covers Roseburg, since his predecessor, Jeff Kruse, resigned in 2018 following allegations of workplace harassment. At the time, he was serving his second term as a state representative.

Copyright 2022 Oregon Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Alex Hasenstab