Medford City Councilor Kim Wallan announced she will run for the Oregon House District 6 seat, and she received an endorsement from outgoing Rep. Sal Esquivel.
Wallan, a Republican and former lawyer who has lived with her family in Medford for 31 years, is in her first term as councilor but was previously a member of the Medford School Board.
She said she is similar politically to Esquivel, but her legal background gives her a different perspective.
"I have a different style," Wallan said. "I always look at things through the lawyer's lens."
Wallan, 55, is married with three grown children.
Her time on the school board gives her a more comprehensive view of laws that affect schools, she said. In particular, she's concerned about the Public Employees Retirement System, which is gobbling up 25 percent of the Medford schools budget.
A strong constitutionalist, Wallan said she thinks the Founding Fathers created the document to limit the power of government.
She said she looks forward to helping tackle the big challenges faced by the state with its budget.
Politics is something Wallan has aspired to since she was a child.
When she was growing up in Klamath Falls, she thought about becoming a councilor in Medford. When she went to Willamette University and got a degree in political science, it helped whet her appetite for politics, Wallan said.
Her experience on the council has given her even greater insight into what the residents of Medford want out of Salem, she said.
When Esquivel announced he'd be retiring from the Legislature, Wallan said, the timing was perfect for her to jump into the race.
Esquivel said, "She's a good fit for the district because she thinks like the district."
He said Wallan has views similar to his and is a strong Second Amendment supporter.
"She has principles and convictions," Esquivel said. "I think she'll stick by her guns and she'll do right by Medford."
— Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on www.twitter.com/reporterdm.