As of Friday, March 2, 2018
Rich McBride wants to move two chairs over and into the chairman’s position on the Hood River County Board of Commissioners. The position will be on the May 15 Primary Election ballot. Incumbent Ron Rivers announced last month he will not run for reelection, after 12 years in the post.
McBride has served as a County Commissioner for the past 14 months and did double duty from January to June 2017 on the county board and the port commission. He served on Hood River Port Commission from 2011-2018, his first elected position, the city budget committee from 2012-14, and on the Port budget committee in 2010.
McBride was born on a farm in Kansas, worked as a mechanic and on an Alaska fishing boat, and served in the Peace Corps in the 1980s in the Pacific nation of Tuvalu after graduating from Western Colorado University. He put himself through school working as a mechanic, and after his Peace Corps stint, he taught high school industrial technology in California for several years and later owned his own car repair shop. He lived in Bend and started a whitewater products company for seven years prior to coming to Hood River, first working as a mechanic and carpenter, and still does car restoration as a hobby, on a 1965 Mustang, “my high school dream car.” He has been a real estate broker for the past three years with Copper West Properties
McBride and his wife, Kate, a Hood River City Council member, have been married for 14 years.
“Her leadership gave me the courage to step up and do the same kind of thing,” McBride said.
McBride said that when Rivers announced his intentions not to run again, “I communicated with all the other commissioners, including Ron, and queried them as to what they thought about me potentially running and wanted to know if any of them had the interest in doing so, and none of them had that interest.
“My main concept is it takes awhile to get to know any board and your role there and all the ins and outs, more than a year. Because of that there is a great value in having someone already inside the commission to take that role,” McBride said.