A deep political divide between urban and rural areas has conservative residents feeling ignored by the state government
Rural Oregon counties vote to discuss seceding from state to join ‘Greater Idaho’
Mike McCarter, 72, a retired plant nursery worker and lifelong Oregonian, has been leading the effort for almost two years. He said he and many others are eager to “get out from underneath the chokehold of Northwestern Oregon.”
“We’ve watched the shift take place in Oregon politics where the primary concern of the Legislature is Northwest Oregon. That’s where 78% of the state’s population is based. They tend to forget that every law that you pass in the state affects us out in the rural economies, too,” McCarter told Fox News.
He highlighted a number of benefits that come with being a citizen of Idaho, including lower taxes and generally more freedoms. Idaho is ranked No. 3 in regulatory freedom whereas Oregon is ranked No. 43, according to the Cato Institute.
Oregon’s state politics took a sharp left turn during the past 20 years, something that has not gone unnoticed by more conservative residents in the state’s rural communities. McCarter pointed to a recently passed law that made Oregon the first state to decriminalize possession of hard drugs.