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September 21, 2018, 12:30 PM


Last Wednesday (9/19/18) the Jefferson County Republican Party hosted an Event at the Madras Senior Center that included an interesting guest presenter.

Mr. Bob Chard, the state coordinator for The State of Jefferson (SOJ) movement presented a wealth of historical, Constitutional, as well as his rationale for the movement.


Mr. Chard spoke for just under an hour explaining to the audience, that included Jefferson County Commissioner Mae Huston, the movements key objective(s) along with the primary objective of restoring “fairness” within the political process.


Chard stressed the movement is not about Secession, but rather “separation or partition” and the creation of the 51st State.


According to some of the SOJ’s literature, the movement asks: Why support the State of Jefferson? Answer: “The State of Jefferson is a growing movement to regain representation, by creating a new state from two existing states.

This has been done 4 times in our history. We want to restore our Constitutional Liberties, reduce growing taxes and regulations, and restore a local-based model of government where social services, education and natural resources are handled locally.”



Chard discussed how rural counties within the state have “little to no voice” and are not being equally represented, something the movement feels needs to be addressed. He understands and acknowledges this movement is a tough sell. However, there is a growing number of individuals and groups getting involved, getting informed and asking questions.


The 51st State would be funded exclusively by a Sales Tax, eliminating property taxes and introducing a “business friendly tax structure, encouraging businesses to come set up shop.”

Locally, Jefferson County currently has a “working committee” coordinated by Montie P. Soderquist, spearheading a petition drive for the Jefferson County voters that states, “We, the undersigned, support a Declaration and Petition by the Jefferson County Commissioners to withdraw from the State of Oregon.”

After Mr. Chard’s presentation, Commissioner Huston told us, she is “not opposed to the concept, but would like to see support from the majority of the County’s registered voters.”

Additionally, we spoke with Jefferson County Commissioner elect, Kelly Simmelink who stated, “I am interested in learning about the SOJ movement.” Simmelink went onto say, “I encourage guys like Montie to get the public involved to see if it’s something people are willing to make a commitment to doing first and foremost.”

Simmelink also said, “I hope that people will get involved and discover for themselves whether this is the best option, an option or dead on the vine.” As a “rural citizen”, “Something (whether it is this or not) needs to happen for rural OR and CA residents to have an equal voice in their state.”

For Jefferson County residents seeking more information, contact Coordinator, Montie P. Soderquist at: 503-995-7243 or email: montieps@gmail.com.

Ranch Matters Staff

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