Derfler sq
  • Oregon State Representative, 1988-1993.
  • Oregon State Senator, 1994-2001.
  • Senate Majority Leader, 1991-1999.
  • Senate President, 2001.

About Pres. Derfler

After decades as a successful small businessman, Gene Derfler turned his skills and attention to state politics. He won a seat in the House of Representatives in 1988 and held that seat until 1993.

One of his overriding interests was the reform of issues involving worker’s compensation. Over the course of several sessions, he and Kevin Mannix guided the reform of the worker’s compensation, in what Derfler considers one of his key legislative accomplishments. In 1994, he ran for and won a seat in the Oregon Senate, a post he held until 2001. Family Medical Leave, Workfare, JOBS Plus and changing the rules for state employee collective bargaining were other legislative reforms that Derfler proudly takes credit for creating and implementing.

For two sessions, Derfler served as Senate Majority Leader. In his final session in the Senate in 2001, Derfler served as the President of that body. Being in the majority party in the legislature allows control over issues and bills, and that power was something Gene Derfler relished. It was also something he took seriously in making certain that the work of the people was done and done well. “It takes a lot of work and common sense to get people to come and be on your side.”

You can help preserve history

When you donate to the Capitol Foundation or purchase Pacific Wonderland license plates for your car, you help create a living history of our Capitol and its history. Your support funds programs such as our oral history project. This program gives students, history buffs and our state’s future leaders an opportunity to learn about Oregon’s most important stories from the people who made it happen. Thank you!