Central Oregon gets a bigger voice in Salem. Wednesday, Republican Representative Mike McLane of Powell Butte was picked as the new House Republican Deputy Leader. That puts him in the leadership pipeline and brings clout to Central Oregon. The move came after a closed-door meeting that lasted all afternoon and also produced an unexpected shakeup of House Republican leadership. Representative Andy Olson, R-Albany, was chosen to lead the party’s caucus, replacing Kevin Cameron of Salem.
McLane’s new post as Deputy Leader will put him in a position to help shape the state’s legislative agenda. McLane, 47, was the only freshman on the powerful budget-writing Ways and Means Committee. He becomes the only lawmaker east of the Cascades to hold a leadership position in the caucus. McLane has also played a key role in supporting the expansion of OAU/Cascades.