Starr graduated from PSU with a bachelor’s of science degree in political science in 1991. After college he worked as a contractor for his own roofing and residential construction company. He married Rebecca, and they have one daughter and one son, living in Hillsboro on Portland’s west side. He would work as a manager for the Portland Business Alliance for international trade and business development before becoming a business owner once again with Cutting Edge Communications.
He won re-election to the House in 2000, winning 57% of the vote and defeating Libertarian David Hintz who received 3% and Democrat Cathy Lamb-Mullin with 40%. Starr was unopposed in the May primary. During the 2001 legislature Starr served as chair of the House’s committee on transportation. He also proposed naming the state’s new building on the Capitol Mall be named after former U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
In 2002, Starr ran for the state senate to represent District 15, which had been redrawn after the 2000 Census. The new version of the district was entirely within Washington County and included Forest Grove, Cornelius, and Hillsboro. Part of the reason for moving to the state senate was that term limits at the time limited people to 12 years maximum and three terms in the House, and Starr hoped to serve for the maximum amount of time. He was elected in the November election to a four-year term, and became part of the first father-son tandems in the history of the Oregon Senate. Bruce received 60% of the vote compared to Democrat Ermine Todd who received 34% and Constitutional Party candidate Tom Humphrey who garnered 3%. This was also the first time since 1977 that a child served alongside their parent in either chamber.
Working in the legislature he helped create and pass the Oregon Transportation Investment Act and sponsored Oregon’s version of Jessica's Law. Starr won re-election to the Senate in November 2006, defeating Democrat John Napolitano with 54% to 46% of the vote after running unopposed in the May primary. He represents District 15 which is composed mainly of Washington County and includes part of Clackamas County.
In February 2007, he was fined by the state’s ethics commission a total of $300 for failing to report two trips paid for by lobbyists as required by law. One trip was to Israel, while the other was a trip to Hawaii paid for by Oregon Beer & Wine Distributors Association in which four other state legislators were also fined. Starr sponsored a bill that required the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles to issue driver’s licenses only to legal residents in May 2007. The bill passed the Senate, but was not enacted into law. A similar measure was passed in February 2008 and signed into law the Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski. He was fined again in late 2007, this time for $20,000 for failing to file campaign finance reports on time. In November 2007, Starr opted not to run for the open Oregon Secretary of State position in 2008; he was the most mentioned Republican option to run against several Democratic candidates. He had considered running for the office in 2004.
Oregon Senator Bruce Starr Poised to Become Ncsl President in 2013 Senator Starr Becomes Organization's President Elect
Aug 09, 2012; DENVER, CO -- The following information was released by the National Conference of State Legislatures: Oregon Senator Bruce Starr...