Lawyer, musician runs for state House

John Orr

Local attorney John Orr has filed for the Democratic primary to replace state Rep. Deborah Boone.

Boone, D-Cannon Beach, announced last month she would not run for an eighth two-year term in state House District 32. Tillamook County Commissioner Tim Josi and local educator and author Melissa Ousley have also filed for the primary. Brian Halvorsen, an Independent from Rockaway Beach, has also filed.

Orr ran a family law and criminal defense practice in Astoria for about 25 years, also serving at times as a Municipal Court judge, before leaving to pursue art and recycling.

He is project development manager for Trails End Recovery in Warrenton, provides the company legal counsel and plays in several local bands.

This is Orr’s first attempt at elected office. He has served in appointed positions on a public safety coordinating council, a committee to site the North Coast Youth Correctional Facility in Warrenton, an affordable housing board in Cannon Beach and with the Surf Pines Homeowners Association. He was president of the North Coast Land Conservancy from 1996 to 2002.

“I think my skill set is uniquely suited to the demands of working in the state Legislature,” Orr said, describing himself as a fiscal conservative and social progressive. “It looks like the Legislature needs help to address its funding issues and the problems the state is facing, both in terms of education, housing, sustainable wages and family wage jobs.”

Orr would also like to see Oregon better utilize its natural resources, particularly biomass energy.

He has lived in Clatsop County about 28 years and Oregon for 32 years. He is from Kalamazoo, Michigan, and originally moved to Portland to attend law school at Lewis & Clark College.

Candidates have until March 6 to file for the May primary.


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