Two candidates with a focus on increasing funding for schools immediately stepped in to fill the seat being vacated by longtime State Rep. Carolyn Tomei, which promises a highly competitive race this fall.

by: FILE PHOTO  - BarnesDeborah Barnes is a former Milwaukie City Council member who aims to address poverty and support small businesses in the area in creating jobs. She’s currently a broadcasting/media instructor for the North Clackamas School District who was elected president of the local teachers’ union.

“My biggest issue is that this area is made up of middle-class voters and concerns, and that’s why I’d like to make sure that we have a middle-class spokesman in Salem speak out on issues such as ensuring there’s adequate funding for public schools and saving the oak trees behind Clackamas Community College,” she said.

by: FILE PHOTO - TaylorKathleen Taylor of Southeast Portland is a former auditor with experience in city, county and state governments. She is the current president of the Duniway School PTA and a board member of Emerge Oregon, and she previously served as Court Appointed Special Advocate.

“I believe our district needs a strong, effective advocate for the issues that matter most to us— better schools, a strong economy, fair treatment for all Oregonians, efficiency in government and a healthy environment” she said.

Tomei is supporting Taylor, her office intern for the past three years. State Rep. Lew Frederick (D-N/NE Portland) and former Gladstone state representative Dave Hunt support Barnes.

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