State Sen. Alan DeBoer confirmed Saturday in an email posted on the official State Legislature he will not seek re-election for the Third District.
The Ashland Republican won election to the open seat in November 2016, created by the death of long-time state senator Alan Bates.
Jessica Gomez, owner of Rogue Valley Microdevices in Medford and a legislative assistant to DeBoer, said Sunday evening she plans to file for Republican nomination Monday afternoon and officially announce her candidacy online Tuesday.
Efforts to reach DeBoer over the weekend were on successful.
"There has been much speculation over the last several months as to whether I plan to seek another term in office," DeBoer wrote. "I had originally planned to announce a decision earlier this year, but wanted to focus on being as effective as possible for the 2018 legislative session. After careful consideration, I have decided that I am not going to be a candidate in the upcoming election."
DeBoer indicated he has grown weary of dealing with hundreds of legislative bills, lobbyists and special interest groups, applying constant pressure to pass their priorities.
"All of that takes up a whole lot of time that could be better spent solving the bigger problems facing Oregon and its people," DeBoer wrote.
DeBoer said he hopes to tackle what he considers the state's four primary problems — health care, education, PERS and the state budget — outside the legislative chambers.
"Ideally, I would like to continue working on these issues in a volunteer capacity at the expiration of my current term early next year," DeBoer wrote. "I think I could do that more effectively in that kind of a role, away from the partisanship that too often prevents us from working together as well as we should.
"In such a scenario, I could use the knowledge I’ve gained of budgets in the private, nonprofit, local government and legislative settings and help the co-chairs of the Ways and Means Committee. There are ways we can obtain tremendous savings through cost containment without cutting or sacrificing vital programs, and I would like to help in any way I can."
DeBoer said he will continue to work on committee assignments, including the Joint Committee on Student Success which will tour the state in search of ways to improve the education system.
"I’m looking forward to attending and learning what I can about the best paths forward for our students, teachers, parents and anyone else who has a perspective they would like to share."
With the filing deadline for the state legislature races looming on March 6, four candidates have filed for the Democrat nomination: Julian Bell, Athena Goldberg, Jeff Golden, and Kevin Stine.