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Happy Valley mayor, who is running for state representative, says mailers against her make untrue claims

If you have seen negative attacks on me over the past few weeks, I want to assure you that they are false. My actions as a public servant speak louder than words. I have a long and successful track record in working across party lines for the betterment of my community.

Together, we’ve always done what’s best for Happy Valley, the region and the state because that’s what leaders do.

As a non-partisan mayor, I’m not accustomed to party politics. I have friends, family and supporters who represent all political persuasions — including Democrats who are appalled and perplexed by the content being distributed by their party against me. I’ve served on the Happy Valley City Council for 12 years. I have a voting record I’m happy and willing to defend. But they’re not attacking me for policy decisions. They are simply making things up to ignite and inflame the voting public.

As mayor, I have balanced the budget every year and helped the city put $2.5 million dollars in reserves while maintaining one of the lowest municipal tax rates in Oregon. With this type of record, you can only imagine how offended I was when mailers accused me of using taxpayer dollars for rounds of golf and rides in limos. The mailers used footnotes referencing city council meeting minutes to substantiate their claim. These claims are untrue. They are bold lies.

As a two-term mayor of one of the most functional and transparent cities in the State of Oregon, I am dismayed that my city staff is being drawn through the mud along with me. I’m proud of our city and the people who run it. These accusations are unfair to everyone involved. They are unfair to the members of my community.

Mailers also accused me of planning to cut funding for public schools, when in fact I’ve stated publicly that funding education will be my top priority as a legislator. The voting public deserves the truth, so they can make informed decisions. They don’t need and don’t deserve lies.

Similar smear campaigns are being waged against legislative candidates across the state. Campaigns need to tell the truth, and be accountable if they make false claims. It’s fair to be critical of candidates to demonstrate differences in platform, behavior or leadership style. It’s not OK to lie. I was hesitant to give these attacks any attention in the media, but when our city staff became targets by association, I couldn’t sit idly by. The only way to stop dirty politics it is to see that candidates who benefit from the lies lose.

Vote for candidates with integrity, and ask your neighbors to do the same.

Lori Chavez-DeRemer is mayor of Happy Valley and a candidate for state representative in House District 51, which includes portions of Clackamas County, Portland and Gresham.

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