Smarts in the Capitol

Rep. Mike McLane, R-Powell Butte, left his small hometown of Condon, Ore. to study agriculture at Oregon State University. He went on to get his law degree at Lewis and Clark College in Portland.

Rep. Gene Whisnant, R-Sunriver, studied journalism at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and later secured a master’s in international affairs from the University of Arkansas.

A study done by The Chronicle of Higher Education showed that McLane and Whisnant are joined by other Oregon lawmakers, who on average, have more formal education than their counterparts in other states.

In fact, 84.5 percent of Oregon lawmakers attended college and have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 74.7 percent of lawmakers overall.

The University of Oregon has the most legislative alumni, with 15 current lawmakers having received their degree from the school.

Sen. Chris Telfer, R-Bend, didn’t get her bachelor’s degree from U of O, but did do some post-graduate work at the school after double majoring in hotel and restaurant management and accounting at the University of Denver.

At the bottom of the list of 15 of the most attended schools by Oregon lawmakers is Harvard University. Three people went there.

Bend Representative Jason Conger started out as a community college student at the College of the Redwoods, received his bachelor’s in political science from Cal State Humboldt  and finished up at Harvard Law School, where he received his law degree.

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