Ashland resident Dave Dotterrer held a rally on the Jackson County Courthouse steps Thursday to officially announce his candidacy for the state Senate seat now held by Alan Bates.
"Your Legislature does not work well," said Dotterrer, a Republican who narrowly lost against in his last election against Bates, a Medford Democrat. "It is time to change how we do business."
Bates said Thursday he plans to file his candidacy papers for Senate District 3 in the next day or two. The district takes in the southern portion of Jackson County, including Medford.
Dotterrer has worked with Rep. Dennis Richardson, R-Central Point, on state budget issues for three years.
He said that since Democrats took control of both the House and Senate in the last election, there's been a lack of legislative bipartisanship.
Richardson, who worked on the state budget during the last legislative session when the House was divided with equal numbers from both parties, was largely excluded from the process this time, Dotterrer said.
"In this session, he, and the minority party, were virtually ignored," he said. "This is the wrong way to do business."
Bates, however, said Democrats had placed Republicans in charge of three committees in the Legislature.
"I get really disappointed when they say we don't listen to Republicans," Bates said. "We really do work across the aisle with our Republican colleagues."
He cited plans for a proposed special session in which Democrats have offered a Republicans a tax break for small business in exchange for eliminating an income-tax deduction for high-income taxpayers.
Bates, a physician, said one of his priorities in his next term will be to assist with the rollout of a new health care system that seeks to improve quality and bring down costs.
Dotterrer, a retired Marine Corps colonel and consultant with a research and engineering firm, announced his candidacy filing in front of about 50 supporters.
Susan Clark, a 48-year-old Medford woman, said she is part of an effort seeking to remove Bates from office.
"We have no voice in the state of Oregon," she said. "We need to be holding politicians accountable."
Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476, or email email@example.com.