SALEM, OR -- State Senate Minority Leader Tim Knopp (R-Bend) and a handful of other Republican lawmakers will not be allowed to run for reelection this year, following a decision by the Oregon Supreme Court.
Prior to the court’s ruling, Senator Tim Knopp told reporters Wednesday his party is in a good place, "I think we win either way, quite frankly. If the court sides with us, it’s a clear victory. If it doesn’t, I think we still win because our members literally have no reason to show up. And so, in order for them to show up, they’re going to want to see that they’re going to be able to make a difference."
Thursday, Republicans said the decision comes from a “Democrat-Stacked Supreme Court.” Knopp went on to say in a statement, "We obviously disagree with the Supreme Court's ruling. But more importatnly, we are deeply disturbed by the chilling impact this decision will have to crush dissent."
He and other lawmakers had argued Measure 113’s language states lawmakers with 10 or more unexcused absences can’t run for reelection in 2026, but are allowed to run in ‘24. Oregon’s High court disagreed, siding with the Secretary of State’s interpretation of the intent of voters. Read the full opinion HERE.
Knopp led the longest walkout in state history. Ten Senators denied their chamber a quorum, holding up votes for six weeks, in 2023. The 2024 session starts Monday, "I am not predicting a walkout at this point, but we’re not taking it off the table," Knopp said this week. "Our members want to be heard. They want to be respected, and they want to be involved. So the degree that that atmosphere can be created, the more successful we’re going to be. I think we are on the right path right now, as it relates to being able to have a bipartisan session." Knopp added, "There are issues that, let’s just say, drive the parties to their corners and they tend to cause problems. And so, the more we can focus on the issues Oregonians are concerned about: housing, housing affordability and ballot measure 110, I think it will be a more successful session."
Of the 10 Senators who participated in the 2023 walkout, six are at the end of their term: Senators Boquist, Findley, Hansell, Knopp, Linthicum and Robinson. Senator Lynn Findley has already announced he will retire. In anticipation of the court's ruling, Knopp and several others have already endorsed alternative candidates for their Senate seats.