Coastal State Representative Jean Cowan has decided to serve out her current term and then call it a career. Rep. Cowan said her 20 years in public service have come to a close and it’s now time for the grandkids. Her open letter to House District 10 residents is presented here in its entirety.
It is time to share my plans with those of you who have become regular correspondents with me during my tenure as State Representative. To those of you who have also supported (both financially and emotionally) my efforts to gain and retain this position, I want you to know how much I have appreciated that support – and I want to assure you that I will do my best to see to it that HD 10 will be well-represented in the years to come.
Today I am announcing that I will not seek re-election for the 2013 term as the State Representative for the newly realigned House District 10. I will, however, continue to serve in my position until I complete my third two-year term in December, 2012.
Prior to my election to the State Legislature, I served as a Lincoln County Commissioner for three terms. And, before Pat and I moved to Lincoln County in 1987, I served as a city councilor and mayor of Elgin, Oregon. After more than 20 years in elected offices, it is now time for me to step aside.
My grandchildren are the primary reason for my decision to retire from public service. The children are now 10, 9, and 3 years old and they all live a considerable distance from Newport. My husband, Pat, and I want to be able to be fully involved in their lives. I have sincerely enjoyed the opportunity to represent the citizens of House District 10, but it is now time for me to spend more time enjoying my grandchildren and sharing in their activities.
Our grandchildren are the reason that I sought the legislative office in the first place. I wanted to help the State of Oregon offer the same opportunities to my grandchildren as it did to Pat and me, and our children. I wish I were convinced that we are fulfilling that commitment at the present time.
I am proud of my accomplishments which include being instrumental in securing state support and funding to aid the Port of Newport’s successful bid for the NOAA Marine Operations Center-Pacific facility, as well as funding for the Oregon Coast Community College’s new Aquarium Sciences building. Along with many other local residents I participated in the festivities celebrating the recent grand openings for both facilities. As the current Chair of the Coastal Caucus, I am seeking balance between many competing marine activities. Those efforts continue to support additional marine research, protect valuable resources, and maintain a sustainable and economically vital harvest of the sea’s bounty.
During my time in office, the needs of seniors have also been a top priority for me, and I will continue to focus on senior issues during the remainder of my term. My recent appointment as Co-Chair of the Ways and Means Subcommittee for Human Services, and my role on the Governor’s Senior Services Advisory Council, allow me to focus most of my attention on maintaining as adequate a level of services as possible for our most vulnerable citizens. I am pleased that my decision to retire from public service at the end of my term will allow me to focus fully on my continuing responsibilities, without the distraction of another political campaign.
The Secretary of State is now accepting declarations of candidacy or petitions for nomination for the May 15, 2012 primary election; the filing period closes on March 6, 2012. Because I know that planning to seek public office requires thoughtful decision-making, I want to allow potentially interested individuals as much time as possible to consider this opportunity. I will be happy to discuss the opportunities and the challenges of public service with anyone who might be considering a run for this position.