August 6, 2016 – Longtime Oregon Senator Alan Bates died while fishing on the Rogue River with his son Friday, August 5th. The cause of death is unknown, but Bates had a heart attack while in the Capitol in 2015, and at the time credited Senator Alan Olsen of Canby for saving his life.
Senate President Peter Courtney confirmed his death Saturday. He was informed late Friday by Governor Kate Brown by phone.
Governor Brown said in a statement, “Alan was a close friend, a statesman, and a doctor who was deeply committed to ensuring that every Oregonian had access to health care. He left an indelible impression on Oregon, and I will miss him forever.”
Bates began his legislative career as a representative in 2001, then moved to the Senate in 2005. He represented the heavily Democratic district in and around Ashland, Oregon, where he was an osteopathic physician.
“As long as we had Alan with us, we were okay,” Courtney said. “I can’t tell you how many times we’d say, ‘Where’s the doc?’”
Bates was also a cannabis-friendly physician, recommending cannabis to a few of his patients. He always supported its medical use, and was solidly on the side of cannabis patients. He had two years left in his term, and will be missed not only by loved ones, friends, and colleagues, but will be sorely missed in the legislature.
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