Decision 2014: House District 18 – Gilliam and Mills vie for state seat

October 2014 Posted in Community, News

In the race for Oregon House District 18, which encompasses parts of Marion and Clackamas counties, four-term incumbent Vic Gilliam, a Republican, faces Democrat challenger Scott Mills.

Vic Gilliam

Vic Gilliam

Vic Gilliam

Gilliam says he is running for re-election because he still believes “you can make a difference in this democracy one vote at a time.”

Experience, Gilliam says, has given him “important insights that help me address solutions to issues that effect businesses and families in our district.”

A former legislative aide to former U.S. Sen. Mark O. Hatfield, his career has included experience as a development executive with non-government organizations including Willamette University, OHSU Foundation and Mercy Corp.

Gilliam, a Silverton resident,  said the three issues he is most concerned about are natural resources, meeting and protecting the needs of the most vulnerable Oregonians – especially seniors – and working to cut spending and seeking ways to find cost savings.

In the last legislative session he was a member of the Higher Education and Work Force Development, and Human Services and Housing committees.

Gilliam said if re-elected he will focus on natural resources and the utilization and stewardship of Oregon’s forests and rivers through changes that could both protect wildlife and increase revenue and jobs.

“This requires state legislation and federal negotiations, including efforts such as privatization of forest management,” he said.

Gilliam wants to continue his work as the co-chair of the special task force on Elder Abuse Prevention.

“We are working on our fourth bill in four sessions to end physical, sexual and financial abuse against this vulnerable population,” he said.

Rather than looking to more taxes and fees, Gilliam said he will work to cut spending and seek costing savings, including investigating fraud, avoiding duplication and looking for efficiencies.

When asked how he works with those with opposing views, Gilliam pointed out the Oregon House was divided evenly in 2009. He was appointed co-chair of the Human Services Committee with a Democrat.

“We had our differences but we were both concerned with the well-being of the most vulnerable Oregonians, and while her solution to most problems was a government program and mine was volunteerism and charitable organizations, we were able to find common ground on several bills. In the end, we found a solution that included state programs but invited community organizations to partner in the work.”

Information on Gilliam’s positions and campaign is available at

Scott Mills 

Scott Mills

Scott Mills

Born in Silverton and living in House District 18 for 56 years, Scott Mills says he has seen the challenges as the economic opportunities change.

The Democratic challenger for the state house seat said the keys to Oregon’s future depend on pay raises,  job and retirement security and return of home equity.

Mills, he graduated from Canby High and attended trade school at Clackamas Community College.

“I was fortunate. I learned a trade that put me and my family in the middle class,” Mills wrote on his website.

“Back then the deal was, if you worked hard, got a good education and played by the rules, you had a shot at the American Dream.  I worry that our children won’t have the same opportunity unless we make some changes.”

Mills said it is important that this is not the last generation that will be able to achieve a solid middle class wage and security.

An employee of Daimler Truck Manufacturing in Portland for 36 years, he and his wife, Cherene, have a a son, Mark, who just graduated from Oregon State.

Mills said his passion for education, observing others and world travel have given “me ability to see solutions not seen by others.”

Issues he is concerned about include overpaying for government services, reducing healthcare costs and the decline of benefit retirement plans.

While he is not opposed to government-funded programs to create jobs, he said they “must not be giveaways to companies seeking a record profit at taxpayer expense.” If elected, Mills said he would advocate for proof any proposed tax break is mutually beneficial to both taxpayer and the entity seeking it.

Mills said if we do not reduce the delivered cost of health care long-term it will reduce the demand for US/Oregon produced goods and services making “us noncompetitive to price and expose us to continuous job loss.”

Mills said there seems to be much to do to work with others who do not share the same beliefs on an issue.

“The question about why people do not agree and who’s backing those views should be the one asked. It would clarify any argument. When policymakers answer that question honestly public opinion can resolve it in the election process.”

Information on Mills’ positions and campaign is available at

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.