Oregon State Representative Matt Wingard (R-Wilsonville) announced Wednesday he will not run for reelection. Willamette Week reported last week that one of Wingard’s former legislative aides accused him of sexual harassment.She filed a complaint with the Oregon Department of Justice alleging Wingard supplied her with alcohol when she was underage and pressured her into having sex. Wingard acknowledged the two had a sexual relationship, but says it was consensual and denies giving the aide alcohol.
Wingard was first appointed and then elected in 2008 to represent Oregon House District 26, which was considered at the time to be a possible swing district. Now, Republicans will have to find a candidate to run in November against Democratic candidate Wynne Wakkila. The election will probably require significantly more funds from the Republican side than if they were running a two-term incumbant. If Wakkila wins Wingard’s vacant seat, it could upset the 30/30 bipartisan balance in the Oregon House, depending on how other races shake out.
Do you live in Rep. Wingard’s district? What’s your reaction to his decision not to run for reelection? How do you think it will affect Oregon politics?