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Our choice: Chavez-DeRemer -



COURTESY PHOTO - Chavez-DeRemerResidents within the rambling boundaries of House District 51 have a chance to restore some balance to the Oregon Legislature while also sending a highly qualified and reasonable person to Salem as their representative.

Happy Valley Mayor Lori Chavez-DeRemer, who is running as the Republican and Independent Party of Oregon nominee, would be a strong and articulate advocate for her district and deserves voters’ support in the Nov. 8 election. This isn’t an easy recommendation for us to make. The Democrat in this race — Janelle Bynum — is a very impressive candidate in her own right.

Our endorsement is based on the fact that Chavez-DeRemer has a longer record of public service — including stints as a city councilor and now mayor of her city. It’s also important for voters in this swing district to consider the current imbalance in the Oregon Legislature, where a large Democratic majority has shown little sensitivity to economic and business-related issues. Adding one more Republican to the House would help temper an otherwise partisan agenda.

House District 51 is a microcosm of Oregon, in that it includes urban portions of Portland, suburban areas in south Gresham, Happy Valley and Clackamas, and the mostly rural communities of Damascus and Boring. Within Portland, its boundaries also take in the Centennial neighborhood just west of Gresham.

If elected, Chavez-DeRemer would go to Salem with a broad base of support. She has been endorsed by mayors of numerous cities and by many regional business groups and associations. She is a known quantity for these individuals and groups and has demonstrated a practical and inclusive form of leadership.

Chavez-DeRemer has a good grasp of the issues before the Legislature. She understands that Oregon needs to invest in its roads, highways and bridges with a legislative transportation package in 2017. She realizes that, despite the low rate of unemployment, Oregon still needs a larger supply of high-quality jobs. She has a track record of supporting education, including her role as chairwoman for a Clackamas Community College bond measure.

Our endorsement of Chavez-DeRemer is made difficult by her formidable opponent.

Bynum, who also lives in Happy Valley, is the owner, along with her husband, of two McDonald’s restaurants. As such, she would bring a business perspective to a Democratic caucus that is sorely lacking in that department. Like Chavez-DeRemer, she also puts a priority on transportation funding and education.

Unlike many of her fellow Democrats, Bynum has the good sense not to endorse the dishonest Measure 97 on the November ballot, although she also hasn’t come out against it. Bynum has a compelling life story, an impressive list of endorsements and the intelligence and empathy needed to be an effective legislator. However, she lacks Chavez-DeRemer’s valuable experience in local government — something we would like to see Bynum obtain before entering the Legislature.

In the end, that experience gives Chavez-DeRemer the edge in this contest. Voters in House District 51 should elect her to be their representative.

Contract Publishing

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