About 400 people interested in Republican politics are expected to turn out for the 49th annual Dorchester Conference in Seaside this weekend.
Even though the Dorchester Conference isn’t directly affiliated with the Oregon Republican Party, during election years it’s an important stop for candidates looking to make a name for themselves.
This year, the conference is focusing more on where the conservative movement is going in Oregon. Scheduled topics include, marijuana legalization, guns and mental health, the fiscal cliff, and the government’s use of drones.
Tim Bernasek is this year’s conference president.
Bernasek says one thing he likes about Dorchester is the range of people who gather — from longtime Republican insiders to everyday people.
“That’s good for political process, whether you’re a conservative Republican, moderate Republican, Independent or even a Democrat. That’s how we do things in Oregon and at the Dorchester board we’re just really proud of the format.”
This year’s keynote address will be delivered by Oregon Congressman Greg Walden and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rogers of Washington.