Republicans in Oregon are seeking to reinstate the first person ever expelled from the state’s House of Representatives.
Former state Rep. Mike Nearman has emerged as his party’s top choice to retake the House seat he just lost. The four-term lawmaker was expelled from the seat earlier this month, after video footage emerged showing him planning a Dec. 21 incursion into the state Capitol by right-wing demonstrators.
Nearman garnered the most votes among local Republican party members who’d assembled Friday to choose nominees for the now-vacant House District 23. But that doesn’t guarantee he’ll return to the House.
The decision of who will fill the vacant seat will be made by county commissioners in Polk, Yamhill, Marion, and Benton counties, the four counties that comprise the 23rd District. Polk County, which contains the most voters within the district, will have nearly 50% of the say in who is appointed to HD 23. And in a sign that Nearman could face steep odds, one of the county’s commissioners told Oregon Public Broadcasting on Saturday that he “doesn’t support the former lawmaker.”
— The Oregonian (@Oregonian) June 19, 2021
Nearman released a statement on the website of the Northwest Observer, which he founded in 2020. “I’m humbled that my fellow Precinct Committee-persons voted overwhelmingly to return me to the House as their representative,” the statement begins. “The fact that they chose me shows that they value someone with courage and principles that will stand up to Democrats, the media, and even their own party to do what is right,” Nearman wrote.
BUSTED: Republican lawmaker, Mike Nearman, charged with first-degree official misconduct and second-degree criminal trespass for helping far-right activists breach Capitol in Oregon.https://t.co/Bql8xocfsHpic.twitter.com/KHbXI6vExp
— Bryan Dawson (@BryanDawsonUSA) May 1, 2021
The fact that they chose him shows that Republicans can’t learn. Maybe they should review the damning evidence against Nearman before trying to bring him back into the fold.