Former state representative and perennial candidate Ron McCarty passed away Nov. 16, 2015. He was 79.
The youngest of six children, Ronald Dale McCarty was born Aug. 13, 1936, near Flaxville, Montana, to Alice Myrtle (Hoff) McCarty and William Raymond McCarty.
McCarty’s mother moved to Portland in 1942, where she worked in the shipyards. Later, the family resided in Vanport, in North Portland. McCarty attended Boise Eliot Elementary and graduated from Benson Polytechnic High School where he played basketball, which he continued to play into his sixties.McCarty obtained his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Linfield College, later pursuing graduate studies in Sociology at Portland State University.
After running seven times, he was elected state representative from the Parkrose area, serving two terms from 1985–89.
He championed Mid-county issues in the legislature, including efforts to get Rocky Butte on the National Register. McCarty was not only instrumental in extending Oregon’s residential solar and alternative energy tax credits as a member of the House Revenue Committee but also as a strident voice against an Oregon sales tax. In addition, he helped obtain tax credits for East County residents required to connect to city sewers. He held other public positions, including eight years on the Mt. Hood Community College Board. McCarty owned a number of businesses including restaurants, a bar and tax consulting firms.
McCarty bought ads sporadically for his campaigns and tax business from the Memo, but he also lobbied the paper for coverage of him and his issues. A colorful contrarian, McCarty’s passions included politics—specifically, lobbying for the poor and debating issues with friends—basketball, television, Pinochle and a good drink. He enjoyed singing and dancing whenever he heard a familiar song. Physical fitness was always important to McCarty. He and son Chris nearly ran a full marathon once “just for fun.” He was a lightweight boxer, remaining a member of local boxing clubs into his seventies; this came in handy in 1997, when he and a fellow former legislator got into a publicized brawl outside a Troutdale bar after a meeting of the Mt. Hood Community College board.
He is survived by wife, Mualla, children Erin Bloomquist, Melina and Chris McCarty, and grandchildren Mikayla and Jaden Munger, Eli, Teddy and Josie McCarty and Sahalie Bloomquist.
A service was held at Willamette National Cemetery in November.