The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

Speaker Dan Rayfield on campaigning for Oregon’s next attorney general

General Corvallis City Section Graphic

After starting his own law firm, being a representative for Oregon House District 16 and speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives since January of 2022, Dan Rayfield is now campaigning in hopes of becoming Oregon’s next attorney general. 

Rayfield says the attorney general’s office has the unique and challenging ability to help all of Oregon feel safer in their communities and increase opportunities for all Oregonians.

“That got me excited to run and really focus on those things,” said Rayfield. 

If elected, Rayfield said he will miss the legislature and position of speaker. The position comes with a “unique set of tools” which can be used to “shape the world to what you want it to look like in 10, 20, 30 years down the road,” Rayfield said.

Rayfield said that he was pleased to pass a 75 million child tax credit for low-income Oregonians during the 2022 legislative session, and that passing laws like this “are the types of things that you don’t have that same tool in the attorney general office, and I will miss that. But at the same time, in the attorney general office, you get a different set of tools to attack that same value.” 

Rayfield professed his excitement at being elected speaker of the House, and that he never thought that he could attain the speaker position or that of attorney general.

“I’m probably a little bit of a non-traditional candidate in the fact that by the time I was 19, I had been arrested four times,” Rayfield said. “I had been fired from jobs, I was actually fired from Walt Disney World.  I didn’t graduate high school on time, I had effectively flunked out of Western Oregon University.”

For a while, Rayfield ran from his past, he said, but now he embraces it.

Rayfield said that one of his biggest goals is to enjoy his work as both a legislator and lawyer, which he has, and is sure will be true if he is elected as Oregon’s next attorney general.  

“That was the big question inside of me, ‘am I going to be excited every single day to do this job?’” Rayfield said, “and it was emphatically a ‘yes’, and I knew at that point that it was the right step for me.”

If elected, one of Rayfield’s priorities is to focus on the root causes of issues and work in all branches of government to start moving together towards a fix. 

“I also want to expand our efforts when it comes to consumer protection and making sure that companies and corporations aren’t taking advantage of Oregonians,” Rayfield said.

As for Rayfield’s private law firm, Nelson MacNeil Rayfield, he said he will leave private practice and instead focus solely on doing the job of attorney general.

“I’ve spent 16 years building a law practice so to just give it up is a really bizarre place to be in life,” Rayfield said. 

Rayfield said for students interested in politics and legislature, to do what most excites and motivates you in life and to not be afraid of anyone regardless of title. 

“All of us are just human beings and I think the most important thing, especially in the state legislature, is to reach out and get coffee with people, and get to know folks,” Rayfield said. “If you have an idea on how to make the world a better place, you shouldn’t shy away from that.”

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