Representative Mark Owens Elected as Oregon House Republican Deputy Leader


REPRESENTATIVE MARK OWENS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 27, 2023

CONTACT
Rep. Mark Owens (541) 589-2379

Representative Mark Owens Elected as
Oregon House Republican Deputy Leader

SALEM—Representative Mark Owens (R-Crane) has been elected by his colleagues to serve as House Republican Deputy Leader. Owens has represented House District 60 in the Oregon Legislature since January 2020.

“It is an honor to have the trust of my colleagues to serve in this leadership role, and it is a responsibility I take very seriously,’ said Representative Owens. “There is a lot of work to do to find common ground and consensus, but I know it can be done. By working together and prioritizing strong, smart policy over partisan, divisive politics, we can move our state forward towards a better future. I am committed to working with my colleagues on all sides of the aisle and in both chambers to ensure Oregonians have a voice in their legislature.”

During the interim, Rep. Owens is Vice-Chair of the House Interim Committee On Agriculture, Land Use, Natural Resources, and Water. He also serves on the Joint Interim Committee On Ways and Means, Joint Interim Committee On Ways and Means Subcommittee On Natural Resources, Joint Emergency Board, House Interim Committee On Business and Labor, and on the House Interim Committee On Climate, Energy, and Environment, and as an alternate on the House Interim Committee on Conduct and the Joint Committee On Conduct.

Rep. Owens is an alfalfa farmer, small business owner, Crane School Board Member, and former Harney County Commissioner. House District 60 includes all of Baker, Grant, Harney, Lake and Malheur Counties, and a portion of Deschutes County.

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Learn more about Rep. Owens here.
A photograph of Rep. Owens can be found here. 

Oregon’s newest rural lawmaker sworn in

Mark Owens, a Republican from rural Oregon, was sworn in Thursday as the newest member of the state House of Representatives.

A rancher and small business owner from Crane, Owens previously served as a Harney County commissioner and is the school board chair for the Crane Union School District, home to Crane High and its 66 or so students.

County commissioners from numerous Eastern Oregon counties chose Owens to replace Lynn Findley, R-Vale, in the House after commissioners voted to appoint Findley to the Senate, where he replaced Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario, who resigned to run for U.S. Rep. Greg Walden’s seat in Congress.

Secretary of State Bev Clarno administered the oath of office at Central Christian School in Redmond. Family members, friends, students and fellow Republican lawmakers attended the ceremony.

“I look forward to serving Oregonians and the communities in House District 60, and being a voice for eastern Oregon in Salem,” Owens said.

In a statement, House Minority Leader Christine Drazan, R-Canby, hailed his appointment.

“Representative Owens brings a vital rural Oregon perspective to Salem,” Drazen said. “His years of experience working the land, serving as a county commissioner and school board chair will serve him well.”

Owens will serve on the House Revenue Committee and the House Water Committee.

Prior to his nomination by the Republican Party as a candidate for the appointment, he had filed to run for the House District 60 seat this year.

He joins fellow Republican Rep. Vikki Breese-Iverson of Prineville and Democrat Akasha Lawrence Spence of Portland as House remembers who will serve in the 2020 Legislature having been appointed rather than elected to their seats.

Mark Owens Announces Campaign for State Representative

By Northwest Spotlight
Oregon Catalyst

Crane, Ore—Today, Republican Mark Owens, local farmer 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 he will be running for the Oregon Senate.

“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,” said Owens. “Our communities need an advocate in Salem that 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 before he moved to Harney County full time in 2001. His greatest accomplishment was meeting and marrying his wife Celeste who had moved into 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 still will be his primary focus.

In addition, he serves as Chair of the Ground Water 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 Representative Findley and Senator 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,” said Owens.

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