Lake Oswego lawyer was one of three finalists for Position 5 vacated by new Chairman Jim Bernard with two years remaining in the term

Sonya Fischer took her seat Thursday (Feb. 9) as the newest Clackamas County commissioner.

"I really felt, while connecting with all of you, that there is a real heart for Clackamas County and its citizens and a true commitment to work together to move us forward in a positive way," she said at the conclusion of her first business meeting.FILE PHOTO - Sonya Fischer has been chosen to fill the empty Clackamas County Commission board seat.

Fischer, a Lake Oswego lawyer, was chosen two days earlier by the other four commissioners to complete the two years remaining in the term of Jim Bernard, who was elected board chairman Nov. 8. The term ends Jan. 7, 2019.

Fischer would have to run in the May 2018 primary for a full four-year term in Position 5, and she said in public interviews that she is prepared to do just that.

During the interviews, Fischer said among her top concerns were housing availability and cost, and services for families, veterans and survivors of domestic violence.

"We have one of the lowest childhood poverty rates in the state and our unemployment has decreased," she said.

"But you know that if you look beyond some of the numbers, you know what our citizens are faced with. You do not have to go far to see that the economic recovery has not included everyone. All of our policies must be viewed through the lens of those who have been left out."

The other finalists for the commissioner vacancy were two former West Linn city councilors, Jody Carson and Jenni Tan. They emerged from a field of eight in public interviews Jan. 25; a total of 78 people filed applications.

Fischer, Carson and Tan underwent a second round of closed-door interviews last week.

Fischer was a finalist for the Oregon House District 38 vacancy that former Commissioner Ann Lininger was appointed to in 2014. The seat became open when Rep. Chris Garrett was appointed to the Oregon Court of Appeals.

Fischer earned a bachelor's degree in sociology/social work in 1988 from Warner Pacific College., where she organized parents of children with disabilities. Her master's degree in public administration came from Portland State University in 1993. She earned her law degree from Lewis & Clark College in 2003.

She has had a law practice in Lake Oswego for most years since then, except for a stint as legislative director for the Oregon Department of Human Services between May 2010 and August 2011.

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