Gilliam, Very Ill, Resigns Legislative Position

One of Clackamas County’s five Republican members of the Oregon House, Vic Gilliam, resigned his seat two days before the legislature was set to convene Feb. 1. He is 63.

Rep. Gilliam, of Silverton, has been very ill with ALS, reportedly unable to leave his home to campaign in the Republican-dominated House District 18 when he ran against Democrat Tom Kane last year. Regardless of his efforts, he was easily re-elected.

Writing in October on the website Blue Oregon, then-Clackamas County Democratic Vice-Chair Peter Nordbye called for Gilliam to resign before the election as it was clear he would be unable to serve.

Mr. Gilliam had been first appointed to the seat when his predecessor, Mac Sumner, mortally ill with cancer, also got re-elected practically on his deathbed and resigned just before the session began in 2007.

Nordbye suggested that, by not resigning before the election, Gilliam was engaged in some political chicanery akin to the same way he had first achieved office — without running for it in an election. Peter Nordbye has since been elected chair of Clackamas Democrats.

Republican operatives in the capital denied such a strategy at the time, but Mr. Nordbye’s notion now takes on added strength in light of this development. Oregon law requires the appointee to be from the same political party

Rep Gilliam’s successor will be selected by county commissioners from Marion and Clackamas Counties after the Republican Central Committees in each county submit a suggested list of three candidates. The meeting will be held on Feb. 22nd from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Mt. Angel Fire District located at 300 Monroe St. in Mt. Angel. Members of the public are welcome to attend. The replacement must be named within 30 days.