Longtime Oregon Association Lobbyist Passes Away


Roger Martin, the former leader of the Oregon House of Representatives, candidate for governor and lobbyist for our industry’s operator association in that state since 1989, died of cancer at the age of 88 on Sunday, June 25. Martin is survived by his wife Maggie.

OAMOA President Jerry Johnston said, “Having remained active and connected during his four decades of lobbying work, it was fitting that Roger passed away just a few hours before the end of the 2023 Oregon legislative session.”

Johnston continued, “He was well-known and respected in political circles with a number of high-profile clients. Our association was small by comparison – with a small budget to match – but Roger never treated us any differently. He was always very generous with his time. And to show how influential he was, at our association meeting two years ago, Roger had to leave early to meet with the governor.”

Among the battles Martin helped the Oregon operators fight was getting rid of an annual, $100-per-machine tax stamp in 1992. “Any time we had a problem, all we had to do was get a hold of Roger,” he continued. “He’d get right on it and we’d solve it.”

A more recent effort on the industry’s behalf came during Covid. “While everything was shut down, there was talk about letting people play the lottery but not jukeboxes, pinballs or other amusements,” Johnston said. “We made some calls – lobbyist Roger Martin, me and others – and while we aren’t sure who we talked to that made the difference, they dropped the idea in a heartbeat.”

Johnston also recounted how he took Martin to the AMOA’s State Association Meeting in Phoenix, Ariz., a few years ago where he sat on a panel about lobbying. “He was the senior lobbyist with two or three others who were brand-new to our industry. After the session, they told me how much they appreciated being able to visit with and learn from him. His presentation was very well received by everyone there, not just his fellow lobbyists.”

Advice Martin shared with RePlay in a 2015 feature on lobbyists remains just as pertinent today: “Make friends. Nothing will change a legislator’s mind faster than getting five calls from local businesspeople. So, take time to cultivate those relationships, and invite lawmakers to your business.”

Even though he was ill, Martin attended and made a presentation at this year’s OAMOA meeting on May 17.

“He loved what he did,” Johnston said. To read more about Roger Martin’s life and career, visit www.youroregonnews.com/news/former-lawmaker-lobbyist-roger-martin-dies/article_06bf1774-dded-5b35-8ddc-544a7d7830e9.html


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