DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore. – Local politicians are mourning the loss of Oregon House Representative Gary Leif, who represented Oregon House District 2 until his recent death.
Douglas County Commissioners released the following statement Thursday:
The Douglas County Board of Commissioners were deeply saddened to hear about the sudden passing of Oregon State Representative Gary Leif, who died unexpectedly in Roseburg on Thursday, July 22, 2021. The Commissioners together with their families, would like to would like to extend their sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Representative Leif, and pay tribute to the time he served Douglas County and our District.
“Gary showed up his first day as County Commissioner ready to hit the ground running. His enthusiasm about serving this county was infectious, and he worked hard during his time as a County Commissioner,” remarked Commissioner Chris Boice.
Representative Leif was raised in Douglas County, and owned a business here for over 40 years. He was elected in the May 18, 2016 election as the 105th Douglas County Commissioner in Position 1, previously held by Susan Morgan. He served as Douglas County Commissioner from January 3, 2017 to May 9, 2018. He vacated his position as Douglas County Commissioner, 1 year and 7 months early in order to accept an appointment as the Representative for House District 2, a position that was vacated by Dallas Heard, who was appointed to the Oregon State Senate District 1 position. He went on to run and was subsequently elected as the Representative for House District 2 in November 2018 and again in November 2020. He was seven months into his third term as our State Representative. House District 2 serves parts of Douglas, Jackson and Josephine Counties and was a position previously held by current Douglas County Commissioner Tim Freeman (2009-2015).
“I was honored to work alongside Gary as a County Commissioner, and proud of him for stepping up to the State level during a very demanding and difficult time. His dedication and willingness to serve the citizens of Douglas County and his District will forever be remembered,” commented Commissioner Tim Freeman.
“When I filed and then won my bid for Douglas County Commissioner Position 1, Gary graciously reached out and offered his assistance to me. Until recently, we served together on the Board of Directors for UCAN. He truly loved Douglas County and dedicated his life to helping and serving others. This is a tremendous loss for our County,” stated Commissioner Tom Kress.