The Oregon Republican Party re-elected Bill Currier as its chair Saturday at an organizational meeting in Keizer.
This will be Currier’s third term as chair; he was first elected for the two-year position in 2015, then re-elected in 2017.
Currier’s challenger was former gubernatorial candidate Sam Carpenter, who lost to Knute Buehler in the 2018 primary election.
Carpenter is known for his conservative politics and proud support of President Donald Trump — even making his campaign slogan for the governorship “Make Oregon Great Again.”
Currier is also the mayor of Adair Village, a small town in Benton County.
Currier said he felt confident in his party’s support leading up to the election.
“As the incumbent, I had sort of a natural advantage in that I knew the delegates, who were essentially the leadership of various counties in Oregon, and so having that relationship with them gave me an advantage,” Currier said. “But I think that what gave us confidence was the fact that as we talked to people as we were campaigning, they agreed with our approach to how the party should proceed.”
Even though it will be his third term as chair, Currier said he still has new plans for the party. One big one is working more collaboratively with outside groups.
“We’re going to move into a phase that we haven’t done before, which is not only work closer together but plan together with the various groups that we work with,” Currier said. “The party is one component — there’s all these other groups that we work with naturally because they share our values.”
The Oregon Republican Party also gained a new vice chair in this election: Tracy Honl, the Washington County Republican chair.
“I’m just really excited. This is an opportunity to get out there and work with the counties and strengthen every county,” Honl said. “We’re going to make 36 strong Oregon counties.”
Oregon Republican Party communications director Kevin Hoar is optimistic about what the party can accomplish in Oregon.
“[The Democrats] seem to have lost their way as far as policies that are the kind that appeal to this large number of voters in the middle who are concerned about their quality of life and are struggling with all of the increases and costs that they are facing,” Hoar said. “So this is something that you’re going to be hearing more about from the party.”