City & Government

D12 Candidate Gowing: Meeting needs of rural residents



Birthplace: Cottage Grove

Marital status: Wife Celia, a finance director

Children: Three children; two 34 and one 29, all attended public schools

Residence neighborhood: Downtown Cottage Grove


Party registration: Republican

Education: Cottage Grove High graduate and Lane Community College Trade School

Occupation: Millwright for Weyerhaeuser

Public sector experience: U.S. Army from 1982-88

Private sector experience: Weyerhaeuser Lumber from 1989-present

Elected office held: Cottage Grove mayor 2017-present; 2022 president of the Oregon Mayors Association; Cottage Grove City Council 2009-16

Previous unsuccessful runs for office: None

I am a fourth-generation Oregonian and a life-long resident of Lane County. Most members of the community of Cottage Grove know me by my first name, regardless of their demographics. 

During the last three decades, I have been extremely involved in the timber industry and know first-hand the value of the industry in my community and the state. My father was also employed in the timber industry, as were several other of my relatives. 

Timber dollars, logging, land use, watersheds, conservation and environmental concerns are all a part of the experiences I have had during my career. Being involved in city council and as an elected official has fine-tuned my desire to serve his community on a long-term basis. 

As the Representative for District 12, I will stay strong for the people in his District, finding ways to meet the needs of the rural communities and the needs of the state.

Some of the reasons I feel the call to action at a higher, more effective level are:

• State Legislators have lost focus on the rural communities, forcing the appearance of lack of “local” government experience at the Capitol.

• More equitable policies for the smaller cities, i.e., what works for Portland and Salem may never work for the small communities.

• Legislators need to be more visible in their District and do a better job of communicating with their constituents.

• There needs to be more “progressive” work across party lines.

• Commitment to sustainable solutions to the unhoused crisis

Read the Q&A will all candidates here.



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