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Mon Jan 30, 2017, 12:05 PM

Legislation aims to outlaw 'Whitsett' maneuver

When Oregon’s state House and Senate gather Wednesday to begin the 2017 legislative session, prime among bills to be debated is one on election reform. House Bill 2429 was inspired by perceived political maneuvering within Klamath and Lake counties for Senate District 28 and House District 56 seats during the 2016 primary.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Julie Parrish, R-District 37, as well as a bipartisan bill by Republican House Minority Leader Mike McLane, R-District 55, aims to establish criteria in primary deadlines to avoid future use of what has been dubiously nicknamed in Salem as “The Whitsett Maneuver.”

Extended deadline

The bill, if passed, would establish an extended deadline for candidates to file for an upcoming election if the incumbent chooses to withdraw just prior to, or following, the deadline to file for candidacy. Parrish’s bill mandates a two-week extended deadline, while McLane’s pending bill adds an additional three days commencing from whatever date an incumbent withdraws.

The proposed legislation is in response to actions taken March 9, 2016, the day after the deadline for party candidates to file for the primary election. District 28 Sen. Doug Whitsett and House District 56 Rep. Gail Whitsett, both Republican representatives covering much of Klamath and Lake counties, withdrew their re-election bids citing “political fatigue,” the morning after the filing deadline.

Read more: http://www.heraldandnews.com/news/local_news/legislation-aims-to-outlaw-whitsett-maneuver/article_a3a83903-b290-5018-92e4-c70bef6aa885.html

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