Editor Comment: Normally CNP steers away from local political news and candidates (Oregon and SW Washington), concentrating primarily on national issues. However, Mike Trimble, a black horse in the race, is a fascinating fellow and deserves some national exposure. Thanks, Megan Wallin for sharing your great interview with Mr. Trimble. Thank you, Mr. Trimble for sharing your thoughts and your pictures.
Unlikely Oregon Gubernatorial Candidate
By Megan Wallin
A Bit of Background
The first thing someone might notice about Michael Trimble, one of Oregon’s more unlikely gubernatorial candidates, is not the fact that he lacks arms—or the fact that he is usually wearing a bike helmet as he commutes almost exclusively via a modified bicycle—but his enthusiasm.
Trimble is the odd man out in the Oregon governor race, something he would be the first to own, calling himself a true “grassroots candidate.”
“I’ve always been an advocate, because I was born in an orphanage, and I never met my biological parents,” he began, before elaborating on how that impacted him. “So in an orphanage, you basically learn at a very young age that you have to fend for yourself, and since I had no arms, that just doubled down.”
“And then when I was adopted by Christian evangelical parents who were ‘told by God’ to adopt a boy without arms and a girl who had legs but could not walk, that became my next challenge.” Their religious beliefs led them to adopt the young Michael.
In his words, he “went from the frying pan of the orphanage system in Russia into the fires of Christian evangelicalism.”
Trimble spoke more about the uniqueness of his situation, explaining that while most people within the foster system have been taken out of their biological homes and are seeking adoption, he went to caseworkers seeking protection from abuse within his adopted home.
The abuse, he stated, was widely overlooked due to the family’s religious practices, which seemed to indeed cover a multitude of sins in the state of Pennsylvania.
“Technically, in Pennsylvania, they didn’t consider what was being done to me as child abuse even though all the social workers said, quite frankly, it was unforgivable.”
“We didn’t really get along from day one,” he said of his adoptive parents in the states, calling the situation “unfortunate.”
“It was a very stormy relationship,” he concluded. “Some families are just never meant to be, and we were definitely an example. They adopted me with good spirits and good intentions, but the execution was really, really poor.”
While he acknowledged this answer may seem a bit “long winded,” his point was clear: He has been resourceful and independent from a young age.
“I would like to extend that fighting spirit…as governor and fight for those who don’t fight for themselves.”