Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA) Executive Director Shannon Monihan announced she will run for Oregon Senate in District 27 if Republican Sen. Tim Knopp “can’t or won’t run again.” She’s also being endorsed by Knopp even though he’s still fighting to stay on the ballot.
“It has become clear we need a plan for Senate District 27 to keep representation in Salem with a proven leader,” Monihan said in announcing her candidacy Monday. “If Senator Knopp can’t or won’t run again, I am ready to step into the role of State Senator; I lead by example, a proponent of uplifting and empowering others by being a community connector and an actionable visionary.”
Knopp, the Senate Majority Leader, is running for re-election, but he may end up banned from the ballot. Oregon Measure 113, which was passed by a wide margin of voters in 2022, amended the state constitution to bar lawmakers from reelection if they have 10 or more unexcused absences.
Knopp is among five senators who filed a lawsuit challenging the law. They racked up more than 10 absences during the walkout that ground the 2023 legislative session to a halt. The longest in the Legislature’s history, the boycott stalled hundreds of bills and made national headlines.
The amendment says a lawmaker is not allowed to run “for the term following the election after the member’s current term is completed.” The senators claim the amendment as written means they can seek another term, since a senator’s term ends in January while elections are held the previous November. They argue the penalty doesn’t take effect immediately, but rather, after they’ve served another term.
The Oregon Supreme Court heard the case last month. It’s not clear when it may make a ruling.
A statement from Knopp endorsing Monihan accompanied her announcement. He acknowledged he may not be able to run.
“Shannon is an impressive candidate, from her deep passion advocating for Central Oregon employees and small businesses to her rich history of training women in self-defense and gun safety,” Knopp said. “If I am unable to run for State Senate, she is a respected leader ready to serve. Shannon believes in lower taxes, returning and preserving your Kicker Tax Refund and defending freedom for all Oregonians.”
Monihan’s campaign describes her as a working single mother of two who is dedicated “to empowering women and championing others.”
In addition to working and managing various start-ups, she was named DBBA executive director in Aug. 2022.
Monihan also founded “Red Frog GS, Inc.,” which offers firearms training to military and civilians, according to campaign. And she founded “Red Frog Women,” which provides education and firearms training for women.
Bend City Councilor Anthony Broadman is running for the seat on the Democratic side.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.