Matt Wingard

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Matt Wingard
Member of the Oregon House of Representatives
from the 26th district
In office
August 19, 2008 – 2013
Preceded by Jerry Krummel
Succeeded by John Davis
Personal details
Political party Republican
Residence Wilsonville, Oregon
Alma mater University of Southern California
Occupation Owner public relations consulting firm
Website www.mattwingard.com

Matt Wingard is an American politician in the state of Oregon. He was appointed to fill a vacancy in the Oregon House of Representatives in 2008, and was elected to the seat in 2008 and re-elected in 2010.[1] He represented District 26, which encompasses southeastern Washington County, including Sherwood; and southwestern Clackamas County, including Wilsonville. He did not seek re-election to a third term.

Early life[edit]

Wingard received a BA in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Southern California.[2] He began his career as a television reporter in Yakima, Washington, for KIMA-TV.[2] He then served as a campaign manager and congressional aide to Congressman Doc Hastings who represents Central Washington State.[2] In 2001, Wingard returned to Oregon and worked as legislative administrator at the Oregon State Capitol before starting his own consulting company in 2002.[2] Wingard is the spokesman for the Oregon Connections Academy, an online charter school, that had an enrollment of 1,500 students as of 2007.[3] He has been a vocal supporter of school choice.[4]

Political career[edit]

Wingard was appointed by Washington and Clackamas county commissioners to fill a vacancy in the Oregon House following the resignation of Jerry Krummel in August 2008, and announced his plans to seek election to a full term.[1] During the campaign, it was revealed he was convicted in 2001 for misdemeanor assault for hitting his son on the head with a screwdriver.[5] Wingard did community service and the conviction was eventually expunged.[6][7] He won the November general election with 50% of the vote, defeating Democrat Jessica Adamson (45%) and Libertarian Marc Delphine (5%). In 2010, Wingard won reelection with 61% of the vote, defeating Democrat Sandy Webb (39%).[8]

During his two terms, Wingard's accomplishments include authoring HB2476 which toughens sentences against athletic coaches who sexually abuse their young athletes. The Bill was Signed into law August 4, 2009.[9] Wingard authored HB2512 which directs the Department of Transportation to issue Fallen Public Safety Officer registration plates.[10] Wingard introduced House Bill 2754 to provide tax-credit scholarships to low- and middle-income children throughout Oregon. It failed to pass a key legislative deadline in mid-April.[11] Wingard also co-sponsored HB3471 with Democrat Rep. Michael Dembrow (NE Portland) to provide free college tuition to Oregon foster children.[12]

Wingard has been a longtime supporter of school choice[3][13] and was the chief architect of the GOP education bills included in the Legislature's 2011 education reform package that passed over the objections of the state's teachers union.[14] Wingard called the package, which included bills increasing access to online education and expanding their charter schools, "the most consequential legislation on education reform in Oregon history."[15] After the reform bills passed, a Democratic lobbyist claimed Wingard had "outwitted his Democratic co-chair every step of the way."[16]

Wingard is a believer in “individual responsibility, limited government, constitutional democracy, property rights and the free market.”[17]

In February 2010 Wingard ignited a minor controversy when he extensively quoted an article during a speech on the floor of the Oregon House. Some claimed it was plagiarism but Wingard says he simply didn’t have time to cite his source.[18]

Leadership Resignation[edit]

In early June 2012, Wingard resigned from his post as the Deputy Republican Leader of the Oregon House of Representatives following allegations that he pressured a young woman who worked in his office at the capitol into a sexual relationship.[19] Then Republican House leader Kevin Cameron, told Wingard he would make a public call for his resignation if necessary.[20]

Wingard admitted to the Willamette Week that the two did have a sexual relationship, but denied using his position to pressure her[21] and claimed that “a small group of socially conservative and well-connected Republicans, including one local party official, had been deeply involved in encouraging that staffer to make claims against me and had also spent the last two years digging around in my private life looking for more mud to sling." [22]

After Wingard abandoned his re-election campaign,[23] his accuser recanted her most serious claims and he remained in office until the end of his term. His accuser went on to say “While he and I have an obvious disagreement about the nature of our relationship, I appreciate Mr. Wingard’s tireless support for education reform in Oregon.” [24]

Wingard's alleged wrongdoing, and his ensuing interactions with Cameron, became the subject of international press coverage amid speculation about a visit by several Republican lawmakers to a topless bar in California.[25]

Personal[edit]

He has served on the Clackamas County Economic Development Commission and the Portfolio Options Committee of the Oregon Public Utility Commission.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Paul, Corey (November 4, 2008). "Wingard wins House District 26". The Sherwood Gazette. Retrieved June 15, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Matt Wingard". VoteSmart.org. Retrieved June 15, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Silverman, Julia (September 6, 2007). "Battles looming over charter online education in Oregon". The World. Associated Press. 
  4. ^ "Representative Matt Wingard: On Charter School panel". In the News. Oregon Catalyst. February 23, 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2012. 
  5. ^ Hogan (September 22, 2008). "Wingard abuse case becomes campaign issue". Oregonian. Retrieved June 14, 2012. 
  6. ^ Mapes, Jeff (January 18, 2008). "Police record costs Wingard a key backer". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2008-08-20. 
  7. ^ "Sign in to OregonLive.com". The Oregonian. August 22, 2008. 
  8. ^ "Official Results, General Election" (PDF). Oregon Secretary of State. November 2, 2010. 
  9. ^ "House Bill 2476". 2009 Session. OregonLive.com. Retrieved 15 June 2012. 
  10. ^ "House Bill 2512". 2009 Session. OregonLive.com. Retrieved 15 June 2012. 
  11. ^ Flowers, Aricka (June 1, 2009). "Oregon Choice Bill Expires". heartlander. Heartland Institute. Retrieved 15 June 2012. 
  12. ^ Clark, Ashley (June 29, 2011). "State Legislature passes HB 3471, helping foster kids". The Daily Barometer. 
  13. ^ "Rep. Wingard, Republicans Seek to Expand School Choice, Education Opportunities for Oregon's Kids" (PDF). Oregon House Republicans. Oregon Legislature. Retrieved 15 June 2012. 
  14. ^ Mapes, Jeff (August 18, 2011). "Oregon teachers union hands out harsh grades, even to longtime legislative allies". The Oregonian. 
  15. ^ Mapes, Jeff (June 17, 2011). "Wide-ranging education reform bills begin moving in Oregon Legislature". The Oregonian. 
  16. ^ Jaquiss, Nigel (June 22, 2011). "The Good, the Bad and the Awful: Our ranking of Portland-area lawmakers". Willamette Week. 
  17. ^ Schoenberg, Bob (February 14, 2008). "Facing the Democrats: Matt Wingard's quest for a seat at the table in Salem". The Regal Courier. Retrieved 15 June 2012. 
  18. ^ "County rep. says speech wasn't plagiarized". The Oregonian. February 21, 2010. 
  19. ^ Mapes, Jeff (June 13, 2012). "Matt Wingard leaves Oregon House leadership post after allegations of misconduct". The Oregonian. Retrieved June 14, 2012. 
  20. ^ Cole, Michelle (August 9, 2012). "Night in topless bar becomes embarrassment for Oregon GOP legislators". The Oregonian. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  21. ^ "Oregon State Rep. Resigns Leadership Post Amid Allegations". Northwest News Network. June 13, 2012. 
  22. ^ Mapes, Jeff (July 10, 2012). "Matt Wingard says he was victim of political smears". The Oregonian. Retrieved July 10, 2012. 
  23. ^ Mapes, Jeff (June 19, 2012). "After Matt Wingard drops reelection bid, Oregon House Republicans search for replacement". The Oregonian. Retrieved June 19, 2012. 
  24. ^ Taft, Victoria (June 22, 2012). "Accuser Recants Serious Allegations Against Oregon Legislator, Matt Wingard". 
  25. ^ "Married Republican lawmaker resigns over visit to topless bar while on golfing holiday with six colleagues". MailOnline.com. August 10, 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 

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