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Major Shake-Up In Oregon Senate As 2 Longtime Leaders Leave

Two of the longest serving members of the Oregon Senate are stepping down from their seats.

Richard Devlin, D-Tualatin, and Ted Ferrioli, R-John Day, have been appointed by Gov. Kate Brown to serve on the Northwest Power and Conservation Council.

The agency is funded by the Bonneville Power Administration and helps develop strategies to balance power production and wildlife conservation in the Columbia River basin.

Devlin and Ferrioli have both served in the Oregon Legislature since 1997. Devlin is the top budget-writer in the Senate, and Ferrioli serves as Senate Republican leader.

“I can say with all sincerity that I will miss them both,” said Sen. Ginny Burdick, D-Portland. “They have both been incredible participants in the process.”

For Burdick, Ferrioli’s departure also means the loss of a long-time political rival. Burdick serves as the Senate majority leader opposite Ferrioli’s role as head of the smaller Republican caucus.

“He didn’t support everything that I would have liked him to support, certainly,” Burdick said. “But he leaves with a very strong legislative record.”

Devlin and Ferrioli’s appointment will go before their Senate colleagues in mid-November. If approved, the two would begin their terms on the council Jan. 16. That’s less than a month before the start of the 2018 legislative session.

The two senators’ replacements will be chosen by county commissioners in the districts they represent.

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