Central Oregonian: A new role for McLane

Representative Mike McLane has been named the deputy leader of the House Republican Caucus

By Jason Chaney

Less than two years into his legislative career, Oregon Representative Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte) has ascended to a leadership role with the House Republican Caucus.

The House Republican deputy leader position came open after Representative Matt Wingard (R-Wilsonville) chose not to run for re-election amid a sex scandal involving a female aide.

The position not only requires him to help with Republican campaigns throughout the state, but also enables the lawmaker to help set the legislative agenda.

“He had done a very good job on campaign strategy and helping candidates focus,” McLane said of Wingard. “I’m going to try to move forward with the strategy that the existing leadership has, and do my best to be a good teammate.”

McLane acknowledges that a freshman legislator does not often fill a leadership role, but such an occurrence is not out of the question.

“I think folks see that I have worked hard on both budget issues and jobs issues and are comfortable with me and my background that I can provide value right now as we head into a tough fall campaign,” he said.

When he ran for office, McLane did not necessarily aspire to take on any leadership roles in the legislature. In this instance, he was looking to help fill a need.

“I look at this as me raising my hand and saying, ‘Hey, I’m willing to take on some additional tasks.’”

In addition to added responsibilities, the deputy leader position comes with some considerable clout in the legislature.

In addition to added responsibilities, the deputy leader position comes with some considerable clout in the legislature.

“Every member of the caucus has a hand in setting the agenda. Every member can submit bills,” he said. “Being in leadership gives you the opportunity to be able to provide some influence in what becomes prioritized (with) the caucus as a whole.”

McLane went on to stress that filling a leadership role unto itself does not guarantee that your ideas for bills will make the cuts.

“What you get done as a caucus member and in the legislature is really based upon the relationships you build and the value of the ideas that you push forward,” he said. “I think being a leader may get you more attention with your ideas, but if you don’t have value to add, it doesn’t transform your ideas into good ideas.”

For McLane, his top legislative priority is clear — private sector job growth. At this point, he does not believe that State of Oregon has done enough to create jobs, and as he moves forward in his new role, he intends to change that.

As far as future leadership roles go, McLane does not intend to overtly seek them out. At the same time, he is not opposed to taking the lead in other capacities as he remains in office.

“I take this with the mindset that you succeed at what you are doing now, and let the opportunities take care of themselves,” he said.

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