Meet Dave Drotzmann

I’m committed to standing firm for Eastern Oregon’s values.

Growing up, my family faced many struggles. My single mom had to work two jobs, often evenings, to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. I frequently came home from school to an empty house, did the daily chores, helped my siblings with homework, and prepared dinner for the family. We didn’t have many extras. But what we did have was love for each other and our faith in God.

The biggest lessons I learned growing up is that complaining or feeling sorry for myself didn’t solve problems; that waiting for someone else to overcome challenges for me was futile. But if I rolled up my sleeves and got to work, that provided value and personal self-worth in the satisfaction of solving those challenges. I paid for the clothes on my back, the lunch at my school and the gas I needed to get to my job. I found satisfaction in a hard day’s work, and even more so in working together on solutions to our problems.

As one family, we were too small to do it all on our own. We had to work together and with others to solve problems. Just like we have for decades in Eastern Oregon.


Dave Drotzmann speaks with Scott Stanton and John ShaferAfter I put myself through eight years of college and started my career in optometry, we decided to move to Hermiston. Moving to Eastern Oregon was the best decision we ever made. We found a community that truly cares for and supports one another. It didn’t take long before we were making lifelong friends and finding places to get involved.

I started my optometry practice with the goal of meeting the needs of my patients and building a small business that created jobs in the community. Since 1998, we have slowly built the practice to employ more than 15 people with family-wage jobs, including two additional optometrists. We’ve seen first-hand the effects of taxes and state policies on small businesses and know the challenges working families have meeting the costs of essentials like medical care, groceries, and gas.

Giving back has always been important. I’ve been an active volunteer since moving to Hermiston, starting with coaching youth sports, president of the Hermiston Sports Boosters, then being elected to the Hermiston School Board and later as the Mayor of Hermiston. I’ve been proud to represent the people of this community by championing the projects and causes they are passionate about. l’ve also had the opportunity to learn about the issues that are important to people who have made Eastern Oregon their home.


There are a lot of challenges facing Oregonians. And I know just complaining about them won’t help. As my 25 years of community service has proven, I don’t stand on the sidelines while things are left undone. I will listen to Eastern Oregon families, roll up my sleeves and fight for their rights in Salem.

Through my involvement with the League of Oregon Cities I’ve learned how one-size-fits-all solutions are not effective. That local decisions made by the people in your community are the best for your community. Many in Salem may see all of rural Oregon as the same, but we know that each region and community has unique opportunities and challenges. We need leadership that understands and embraces these differences. We don’t need any more top-down solutions that are Portland-centric forced upon rural Oregonians.

As your state senator, I will work hard to make sure Eastern Oregonians have a seat at the table and I will make sure state government is accountable for every dollar it spends. This will allow Oregonians to afford everyday expenses in the face of record inflation and incentivize private businesses to invest in their employees. I will stand firm on our shared conservative principles of lower taxes, safer communities, protecting Second Amendment rights, and the right to life.

I will advocate for your local voices to be heard in the decision-making process.


Apple Valley Eye Care, Yakima
Optometrist – 1996-1998

Lifetime Vision Source, Hermiston
Owner, Optometrist – 1998-present


Hermiston Mayor – 2012-present

  • Public Infrastructure Committee
  • 2040 Committee
  • Funland Rebuild Committee

Hermiston School District Board of Directors – 2002-2010

  • Chair and vice chair
  • Negotiation team during 2008 recession that preserved jobs, kept class sizes small
  • Bond oversight committee, 2021


League of Oregon Cities Board of Directors – 2018-2020, 2022-present

  • President — 2024
  • President-Elect — 2023
  • Treasurer — 2022
  • Tax & Finance Policy Committee — 2018, 2020, 2022


Hermiston Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, 2000-2002

Hermiston Rotary Club, 1997-present (President 2005-2006)

Hermiston Sports Boosters, 2000-2012

Youth sports coach, 1996-2015


Yakima Valley Community College – Associates Degree

Central Washington University – Bachelors Degree

Pacific University College of Optometry – Doctorate Degree


Hermiston Distinguished Citizens Awards Man of the Year, 2012

Helped raise private funds for Funland Playground, Eastern Oregon Trade & Event Center and Kennison Field/Bulldog Stadium

Participated in Christmas Express, MLK Walk, I Love My City

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