Suzanne VanOrman (born July 1939) is an American politician from Oregon. A Democrat, she was a member of the Oregon House of Representatives, first elected in 2008. VanOrman, who resides in Hood River, represents District 52, which encompasses all of Hood River County and parts of Clackamas and Multnomah counties. She beat mixed martial artist and Olympic silver medalist Matt Lindland 52%–48% in the 2008 general election.
VanOrman served as Vice-Chair of the Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Communities committees. She also served on the Education and Human Services committees.
In 2010, she lost re-election to Republican Mark Johnson.
For more than 22 years, VanOrman was Executive Director of the Mid-Columbia Children’s Council. Under her leadership, the Council grew to eventually offer pre-K Head Start comprehensive services to 482 families in the greater Columbia Gorge area.
VanOrman served on the Oregon City Commission, the South Fork Water Board, Tri-Cities Services Budget Committee, Hood River County Commission on Children and Families, and the Clackamas County Children’s Commission. Most recently Suzanne was made a Committee Member of the Hood River Valley High School Local Committee.
The 2008 Campaign
Both the Lindland and VanOrman campaigns were noted as being particularly contentious. Lindland's campaign attempted to paint VanOrman as tax-and-spend liberal and a career politician—a political cliché that her supporters denied. Also, Lindland's campaign, despite public record of VanOrman's name, referred to Suzanne as Susan throughout the election cycle. VanOrman's campaign video against Lindland was accused by many in the mixed martial arts community as being inaccurate in its portrayal of mixed martial arts competition. Allegedly, this included citing Lindland headbutting despite that being an illegal foul in the Unified Rules, and deliberate repeated use of the charged term "cage fighting" instead of the appropriate term "mixed martial arts" (even displaying footage of Matt's bout in an Affliction promotion which is held in a ring rather than a cage).