Interim Rep. Gary Leif, R-Roseburg, will keep his House District 2 seat. In unofficial final results released Wednesday morning by the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office, Leif defeated Democratic challenger Megan Salter 66.2 percent to 33.6 percent.
Leif, a longtime photographer and former Douglas County commissioner, is a former Winston First Citizen with a long history of government and community service.
“I feel real blessed and humbled and honored all at the same time. I’m excited. I have to tell you, I’ve been up there eight months now, and I love the job,” he said Tuesday evening.
He said he’s been working as a moderate, developing relationships with both sides of the political divide. He sees his job as being a bridge-builder.
“Southern Oregon’s a little different than the metropolitan areas, but you know because I have been respectful to all sides, and I haven’t thrown any grenades at anybody, I have a good rapport with everybody. That’s going to make a big difference when it comes to some of the legislative decisions. You can’t bite the hand that feeds you,” he said.
He said he’s also worked to be transparent. Every day on Facebook he posts about what he’s doing, and who he’s meeting with.
“People seem to really like that,” he said.
Salter, 36, is a former preschool teacher who argued electing a Democrat would give Douglas County residents an advantage in the Democratically-controlled legislature.
House District 2 covers Roseburg, Winston, Myrtle Creek, Riddle, Canyonville and Glendale, along with small segments of Josephine and Jackson counties.