Local author, educator files for state House seat

Local author and educator Melissa Ousley is running in the Democratic primary for state House.

Ousley is part of progressive group

By Edward Stratton

The Daily Astorian

Local college adviser and author Melissa Ousley has filed in the Democratic primary to replace state Rep. Deborah Boone.

Boone, D-Cannon Beach, announced this month she would not run for an eighth two-year term in state House District 32. Tillamook County Commissioner Tim Josi, a Democrat, and Brian Halvorsen, an Independent from Rockaway Beach, have also filed.

Ousley, 42, is an adviser at Clatsop Community College who lives in Warrenton with her husband, Chris, the dean of students at the college, and their twin 14-year-old boys. She has a doctorate in higher education and has worked in the field for 15 years, previously as a student services adviser at Pima Community College in Arizona and as a researcher at the University of Arizona.

A suspense and young adult fiction author, she serves on the Seaside Public Library Foundation Board.

Ousley volunteers with progressive activist group Indivisible North Coast, canvassing for the recently passed health care ballot measure and trying to increase voter registration. Another focus of the group has been getting more people to run for office.

“I see running for office as a way to expand my service to my community,” Ousley wrote on her campaign website.

Among her values are making health care and education more accessible and affordable.

“I’m concerned about the environment, protecting our gorgeous coast and forests and advocating for clean, renewable energy,” she wrote, expressing concern about potential offshore drilling.

The state should establish caps on greenhouse gas emissions, require emitters to purchase allowances and use the revenue to invest in renewable energy and communities affected by global warming, she wrote. “District 32 could benefit from these measures, and we have the potential to lead these efforts.”

Candidates have until March 6 to file for the May primary.

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