PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Former Oregon House Co-Speaker Bruce Hanna said Thursday he’s not running for re-election to the state House seat he’s held for five terms, a move that’s likely to fuel speculation that he’s planning a run for higher office.
Hanna, a Republican from Roseburg told The Associated Press that he has no current plans to run for another office, but he wouldn’t rule it out.
“I’d never say ‘never’ because you just don’t know,” Hanna said. “But I’m not running in House District 7, and I think it’s important to let people know so those who are interested can run.”
Hanna is often mentioned as a potential challenger to Gov. John Kitzhaber, U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio or U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley.
Hanna said he wants to focus on growing his business and spending more time at home. He runs a Coca-Cola bottling company in Roseburg.
“I’ve given it a yeoman’s run, had a good time at it, represented the district well, and I’m ready to pursue other interests,” Hanna said.
Hanna was widely praised for his handling of the 2011 legislative session, when he and Democrat Arnie Roblan shared the duties of speaker in a tied House of Representatives. They maintained peace and helped broker compromises in a difficult environment, when the state faced a massive budget deficit yet neither party had the 31 votes needed to approve anything on its own.
Hanna declined to seek a slot in the Republican leadership this year after the GOP failed to gain the House majority.
His decision was first reported by the News Review of Roseburg.