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Arnie Roblan to Run for Senate District 5

Ready to expand his focus on creating jobs for the Oregon coast

October 27, 2011

Contact: Molly Woon (503) 367-4327

COOS BAY – Representative Arnie Roblan (D-Coos Bay) today announced his intention to run for State Senate District 5 in the 2012 election. Currently Co-Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives, Roblan said he’s running for the Oregon Senate to continue to bring strong leadership and new jobs to the communities of the south and central coast. Senate District 5, which runs along the Oregon coast from Coos Bay to Tillamook Bay, is currently served by Senator Joanne Verger, who recently announced that she would not seek re-election next year.

“As a former teacher and principal, I know how to get people to put aside their differences and work together. That’s what I’ve done to help create hundreds of new jobs in my House district. Now, I’m running for Senate so I can create a better economic future for families up and down Oregon’s coast,” said Roblan.

Roblan was unanimously elected as Co-Speaker of the Oregon House by his colleagues in a historic power-sharing agreement during the 2011 Legislative Session in which the House was evenly divided with 30 Democrats and 30 Republicans. Roblan’s leadership in the State House created an environment of bipartisanship, which led to a successful session that produced a balanced budget, education and health care reform, and increased support for Oregon’s small businesses.

“People on the coast know we don’t face Democratic problems or Republican problems in these tough times, we face Oregon problems,” Roblan stated. “I’ve spent my time in Salem working with folks from both sides of the aisle to find the very best ideas to bring more jobs to our state.”

During his time as State Representative, Roblan has been a champion of improving the economic climate of Oregon’s South and Central coast and standing up to Portland politicians to make sure coastal communities get their fair share. He led efforts to protect the coast’s economy by expanding the airport at North Bend and fought to restore and rebuild the Coos Bay Rail Line, helping to stop layoffs at mills and leading the way to new economic opportunities for the coast.

“Arnie’s leadership has led to increased investments in vocational training and apprenticeships so that more of our young people can become skilled tradespeople,” said Robert Westerman, a Newport resident and President of the Oregon State Association of Electrical Workers. “He’s also been critical in supporting energy jobs that can provide a decent wage here on the coast.”

Roblan has also advocated for deepening the Port at Coos Bay to bring thousands of new container jobs to the coast in the years ahead, as well as supporting bills that helped recruit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to build its Pacific base in Newport. In the House, Roblan has championed collaborative efforts to bring wave energy technology to the coast, such as the new wave energy park in Reedsport.

Roblan's effective and collaborative leadership was honored by the Oregon Business Association last month. Roblan, along with Co-Speaker Rep. Bruce Hanna (R-Roseburg), was honored as a “Statesman of the Year.” The award recognizes “extraordinary achievements for public service, consensus building and forging collaborative solutions to critical issues facing Oregon.”

“Arnie Roblan understands that our coastal region needs coastal solutions, not Salem or Portland solutions,” said Dave Kronsteiner, President of the Port of Coos Bay Commission and owner of Coos Bay-based West Coast Contractors. “As our state senator, Arnie will continue to work across party lines to advocate for the economic health of the coast.”

Roblan and his wife, Arlene, have lived in Coos Bay for nearly 40 years. Before serving as a state representative, Roblan was a math teacher, dean, and principal at Coos Bay’s Marshfield High School for 32 years.

“I’m running for the Senate to continue the good work I’ve started,” Roblan concluded. “As your Senator, I’ll keep fighting for more jobs and greater economic opportunity for families up and down the Oregon coast.”

Posted on October 27, 2011.