Cave Junction—November 26, 2019--
Long-time Southern Oregon community member and legislative advisor, Michelle Binker (R-Cave Junction) today announces her candidacy for State Representative in Oregon’s House District 3.
“As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, we have so much to be grateful for. I’m especially grateful for the spirit of community, and of public service. That’s why I’m running— to help others.”
The current State Representative Carl Wilson (R-Grants Pass), who has held the seat since 2015, announced this fall he will not seek reelection. House District 3 includes Grants Pass, Cave Junction, Wilderville, Merlin, Williams, and the “heart” of rural Josephine county.
“The residents of House District 3 would be in good hands with Michelle Binker as their representative in Salem,” said Wilson. “She knows the issues that matter most to our families and businesses, understands the legislative process, and knows how to get things done.”
Binker and her husband are long standing Illinois Valley residents. She is a hardworking mother to two young men, homeowner, small business owner, taxpayer, and community volunteer. Binker understands the daily ins and outs of the legislative process serving as the Chief of Staff for Representative Wilson over the past five years. She worked as a legislative assistant for Representative Wally Hicks before that.
“Experience matters in public service,” explained Binker. “I’ve been involved in the concerns of friends and neighbors in the community for decades. I also have the legislative skills necessary to hit the ground running as a freshman legislator without a huge learning curve.”
While serving with Representative Wilson in the legislature, Binker became known as an informed and thoughtful Republican voice in the hemp and cannabis policy arena. Housing, economic development, education, transportation, and the use of natural resources, are key issues for House District 3.
“It’s important that our representatives understand our citizens, our strengths and our struggles,” noted Binker. “The experiences for which I am most grateful have been the times that I have been able to help people navigate the Salem bureaucracy, whether it’s problems at DMV or questions about taxes to assisting someone to get services.”
In 1996, newly married to a long-time Oregonian, Binker moved to Illinois Valley. Michelle and Keith have two sons. Paul, 21, attends Rogue Community College, and Ian, 17, is a senior at Illinois Valley High School. Keith is a commercial driver who works for an independent trucking company.
“As a mother to two young men. I’m motivated to build and maintain a healthy community in the hope that they (and one day their children) will find an opportune place to live, work and raise a family in Josephine County, as I have,” added Binker.
“In the 23-years I’ve lived in Southern Oregon I’ve gained enormous varied experience in the private and public sectors,” Binker said. “Over the years I’ve engaged with many wonderful community leaders and average citizens, and enhanced my own personal leadership abilities.”
Binker went to work in the Oregon Legislature 2014 following ten years as a journalist and publisher in rural Josephine County. She is a charter member and past president of the Rotary Club of Illinois Valley, a graduate of Ford Institute for Leadership Development and an American Leadership Forum of Oregon Senior Fellow. Additionally, she has served on the boards and membership of numerous local organizations.