Article from Burns Times-Herald

On Nov. 4, Republican Mark Owens, local rancher and Harney County commissioner, announced his candidacy for state representative in Oregon’s House District 60. The seat is currently held by Rep. Lynn Findley (R-Vale) who announced last week that he will be running for the Oregon Senate.

“It is a privilege and honor to serve as one of your county commissioners, and I plan on serving in this capacity for the next 15 months,” Owens wrote in a letter to the people of Harney County. “On Monday, I announced that I will be seeking the Oregon House District 60 seat. I feel that I can have a greater impact for Harney County and Eastern Oregon in this position. It will be an opportunity to work for all of you and to protect our way of life in Eastern Oregon.”

Owens added, “I can’t think of a better place to live, work, and raise a family than where we live today, and as the next state representative for Eastern Oregon, I will work to make sure we build a sustainable future for the next generation of Oregonians.”

He said, “Our communities need an advocate in Salem who understands our unique way of life and the challenges we face, and who will make sure opportunities abound for our citizens. I will be that advocate.”

As a teenager, Owens spent his summers working on a ranch in Harney County. He moved to the area full time in 2001. His greatest accomplishment was meeting and marrying his wife, Celeste, who moved to the area to teach school after college. They were able to start, and currently operate, an alfalfa ranch and custom haying business. Celeste is an elementary school teacher in Crane, and their two children, ages 15 and 11, attend Crane public schools.

Owens was elected to the Harney County Commission in 2016, where his priority has been to ensure Harney County is able to sustain local agriculture while looking for additional business opportunities for the county. The use of natural resources, public lands, and protecting our way of life has been and will continue to be his primary focus.

He also serves as chair of the Groundwater Study Advisory Committee and liaison for the Oregon Water Resource Department, and as the school board chair for Crane Union High School. He has served on numerous commissions, boards, and councils to represent Eastern Oregon locally and at the state level.

“We have been greatly represented by Rep. Findley and Sen. Bentz, and it would be an honor to carry on their great work and be a voice for the citizens of Eastern Oregon in the Oregon legislature,” Owens said.

Owens will file his candidacy and launch his formal campaign this week.

“I would welcome any support you could lend in my campaign for this position,” Owens said. “I look forward to serving Harney County and Eastern Oregon on the State Legislature. Please call with any question, concerns, or to just have a conversation.”