Kevin Talbert appointed to Oregon Senate following Alan Bates' death

Oregon Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins congratulates Kevin Talbert after swearing him in as the state's newest senator. Talbert replaces Sen. Alan Bates who died unexpectedly Aug. 5. (Photo: Molly Woon/Oregon Secretary of State's Office)

Jackson County commissioners appointed former university administrator Kevin Talbert to the state Senate on Tuesday.

He replaces Sen. Alan Bates who died Aug. 5 during a fishing trip with his son.

Talbert, a Democrat from Ashland, will serve Senate District 3, which encompasses Jackson County, until January of next year. The voters in the district will elect a new senator this November. Democratic nominee Tonia Moro, of Medford, and Republican nominee Alan DeBoer are competing in that race.

“Nobody is going to fill Alan Bates’ shoes,” Talbert said in a news release. “I am just going to try to do the best I can to continue his legacy and I think it’s important to represent the constituents of Southern Oregon as best I can for the time I am in office.”

Talbert was the director of extended campus programs and chief information officer at Southern Oregon University until he retired.

“Kevin Talbert’s willingness to serve under these difficult circumstances is a testament to his character. He has a long record of public service. It is part of who he is. I welcome him to the Senate,” Senate President Peter Courtney said in a news release.

Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins swore Talbert in at the Jackson County justice building at 3:30 p.m.

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