Rep. Dan Rayfield
Rep. Dan Rayfield, D-Corvallis, takes the oath as House speaker before Chief Justice Martha Walters of the Oregon Supreme Court during the opening day of the Legislature on Feb. 1, 2022. (Photo by Ron Cooper/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

By Julia Shumway, Oregon Capital Chronicle

Legislators returned to Salem on Tuesday to start the 2022 legislative session. The House elected a new speaker, Corvallis attorney Dan Rayfield, who was first elected in 2014.

Rayfield, who currently represents Philomath as part of his district, urged his colleagues to work to understand each other’s motivations and recognize that they all want to do good for Oregon.

Two new representatives — Democrats Nathan Sosa of Hillsboro and Travis Nelson of Portland — were sworn in ahead of the start of the session.

While legislators worked inside, more than 100 protesters demonstrated against masks and COVID vaccines outside the Capitol. Later in the day, a group of them tried to push their way into the Capitol, meeting resistance from Oregon State Police who patrol the building. A small number ultimately entered.

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