|Member of the Oregon Senate|
from the 12th district
|Assumed office |
|Preceded by||Gary George|
|Member of the Oregon House of Representatives|
from the 23rd district
|Preceded by||Lane Shetterly|
|Succeeded by||Jim Thompson|
Brian James Boquist
October 20, 1958
|Political party||Independent (2021–present)|
|Republican (before 2021)|
|Profession||Small business owner|
Brian James Boquist (born October 20, 1958) is an Independent, formerly Republican, politician from Oregon; He currently serves in the Oregon Senate representing District 12. Previously, he was in the Oregon House of Representatives, representing District 23 in the mid-Willamette Valley from 2005 to 2009.
In Oregon, members of the Independent Party are not to be confused with non-affiliated voters. The Independent Party of Oregon is the largest minor party in the state.
Early life and career
Boquist was born and raised on a dairy farm in Tillamook, Oregon. He attained the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America, graduated from Tillamook High School, and enlisted in the United States Army in 1975. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Western Oregon State College (now Western Oregon University) and an MBA from Oregon State University.
Boquist is a former career special forces lieutenant colonel who served in branches of the United States Army. He is a director with International Charter Incorporated, an international services company that specializes in a variety of support operations for private organizations and the United States government. ICI has worked in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and South America. Additionally, ICI was involved in pre-deployment training of armed services members during OEF and OIF from 2006 to 2012. Boquist is involved with several other business entities primarily in the agriculture and forestry industry. He served as Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff of the Joint Combined Special Operations Task Force in Iraq in 2003–2004, receiving the Bronze Star Medal and recommendation for promotion for his service.
Boquist ran for the U.S. Senate in 1996, taking less than 1% in the Republican primary. In 2000, he was the Republican nominee for the United States House of Representatives in Oregon's 5th congressional district, but lost with 43% of the vote to incumbent Darlene Hooley. Boquist challenged Darlene Hooley in the 2002 General Election, losing a second time with 45% of the vote.
In 2004, Boquist decided against a run for Hooley's seat, but when state Representative Lane Shetterly resigned to run the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development commission, Boquist chose instead to run for Shetterly's seat in Oregon House District 23. Though Jim Thompson was named by Oregon Republicans to complete Shetterly's term, Boquist defeated him in the Republican primary and went on to win the general election with 61% (17,390) of the vote. Boquist was re-elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in 2006 with 58% (13,422) of the vote.
In the 2008 Republican primary, Boquist announced that he was leaving the Oregon House to seek election to the state Senate. He was unopposed for his party's nomination to represent Oregon Senate District 12 and faced Democrat Kevin Nortness in the general election. He won the general election 61% to 39% garnering 33,264 votes. (Jim Thompson, whom Boquist defeated for the state House in 2004, won the election with 15,878 votes to succeed Boquist in the House.) Boquist was re-elected the Oregon State Senate in 2012 with 60% of the vote, garnering 34,038 votes.
Boquist serves as the Chairman of the Veterans and Emergency Preparedness Committee in the Oregon State Senate. He was closely involved in the 2013 Regular Session, and following Special Session, with the passage of a tax cut meant to incentivize job growth in rural Oregon. He was appointed to serve on the oversight committee for the start up of the Cover Oregon insurance exchange, during which time he sought expanded committee authority to place witnesses under oath and subpoena testimony; neither was granted to the now defunct committee.
In June 2019, Boquist and 11 other Republican Senators walked out of a vote on a cap and trade resolution meant to reduce carbon emissions for the purpose of dealing with climate change. Since the 12 Republican senators left the Oregon State Capitol (with some claiming to have left the state), the remaining 18 senators cannot hold a vote, which requires 20 members present. The previous day, Oregon Governor Kate Brown, on learning of the upcoming walkout, said she was going to send police to round up state legislators who didn't attend. In response, Boquist commented to reporters that he had told the state police superintendent, "Send bachelors and come heavily armed. I'm not going to be a political prisoner in the state of Oregon." Brown said the Oregon constitution allowed for the use of police to detain recusant Senators. Although several Republican state senators returned to the Senate chamber on June 29, 2019, leading to the cap and trade bill being sent back to committee, while other bills were passed, Boquist was missing, as he was asked not to return due to other state senators feeling unsafe from his previous comments.
- 74th Oregon Legislative Assembly
- 75th Oregon Legislative Assembly
- 76th Oregon Legislative Assembly
- 77th Oregon Legislative Assembly
- 78th Oregon Legislative Assembly
- "Senate senatorsIndependents". www.oregonlegislature.gov. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
- news, In the (January 15, 2021). "Senator Brian Boquist has left GOP, is now a member of the Independent Party of Oregon". The Oregon Catalyst. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
- "Representative Brian Boquist". Oregon State Legislature. Archived from the original on June 11, 2011. Retrieved 2008-09-25.
- Hortsch, Dan (February 28, 2008). "5th district primary a fight to stand out". The Oregonian.
- "November 7, 2000 General Election: U.S. Representative". Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved September 29, 2008.
- "November 5, 2002 General Election: U.S. Representative". Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved September 29, 2008.
- Henderson, Tom (October 17, 2016). "Swartzendruber seeking to oust Boquist". Yamhill Valley News-Register. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
- "Official Results May 18, 2004 Primary Election: State Representative". Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved September 29, 2008.
- "Official Results November 2, 2004 General Election: State Representative". Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved September 29, 2008.
- Cagle, Susie (June 20, 2019). "Oregon's Republican senators flee capitol to delay vote on emissions reduction plan". The Guardian. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
- Zimmerman, Sarah (June 20, 2019). "Oregon gov. sends police after GOP senators who fled Capitol". The Register-Guard. The Associated Press. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
- Selsky, Andrew; Zimmerman, Sarah. "Oregon Republican senators end walkout over carbon bill". Associated Press. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
- Radnovich, Connor (June 30, 2019). "Oregon Republican senators end walkout, but legislature remains dogged by controversy". Salem Statesman Journal. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
- Theriault, Denis C. (February 16, 2016). "Oregon Senate meets in silence to mourn death of lawmaker's son". The Oregonian. Retrieved March 15, 2017.